Chuck Brazeale is “Still Runnin'”: Team crosses finish line at St. Louis marathon

Chuck Brazeale, 80, crossed the finish line on his 10th (at the minimum) G0! St. Louis Marathon Relay this past Sunday morning, April 10, 2016. 

marathon is a long distance race of 26.2 miles and the team, Still Runnin’, divided the mileage between the four of them. The team was composed of four runners and community members of Paris or formerly of Paris: Chuck Brazeale, John Turner, Sidney Wheelan, and Susie Kennison. They crossed the finish line in just under five hours (4:58:41) with a 11:24 min/mi pace. Not too shabby for this 50+ team!

“It’s about living life to the fullest and doing what you love,” said Wheelan. “It’s a lot of fun to be able to get together with friends for a weekend and support each other in our shared hobby.”

Impressed with Brazeale’s agility and endurance, The Pariscope decided to hone in on him for this week’s article. How does he continue to accomplish these races? How could we all be in great shape when we are his age?

Brazeale is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and pilot. After his service, he obtained degrees in agriculture and business administration, then was hired on as a teller at The Paris National Bank in 1979. He continued on to eventually become CEO at the bank and retired from that position in 2011, but continues to cattle farm. He has been married to Ina Rae for 52 years and has two children, six grandchildren and one great grandson.

“I have been running basically all of my life,” said Brazeale. He ran while in the military, but not competitively until the late 1970’s. Since then, he says he has competed in many 5K, four mile, and 10K races over the years. 

When asked about his daily routine he responded that he runs or walks every day, a day rarely ever missed.

go st louis runners
Sidney Wheelan, Susie Kennison, Chuck Brazeale, and Jon Turner ran together as “Still Runnin'” during the 2016 Go! St. Louis Marathon Relay.*

“I strive diligently to get in at least 300 – 315 minutes of running or brisk walking each week,” said Brazeale. “I’m an early morning person with Sunday mornings being my hour to an hour and a half workout session.  If the weather is bad, I run inside–meaning ‘inside’ our large barn here on the farm.”

Brazeale believes it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle. So far he has been blessed with excellent health, but knows that running attributes to “overall improved health and physical fitness.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 engage in regular aerobic physical activity for 2.5 hours at moderate intensity—or 1.25 hours at vigorous intensity—each week.  

For adults above the age of 65, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that older adults should avoid inactivity and that some activity is better than none. Their website also states:

For substantial health benefits, older adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week. Older adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

Below are examples of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:

Aerobic: 

  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Water Aerobics
  • Jogging
  • Aerobic exercise classes
  • Bicycle Riding (stationary or on a path)
  • Some activities of gardening, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower
  • Tennis
  • Golf (without a cart)

Muscle-Strengthening

  • Exercises using exercise bands, weight machines, hand-held weights
  • Calisthenic exercises (body weight provides resistance to movement)
  • Digging, lifting, and carrying as part of gardening
  • Carrying groceries
  • Some yoga exercises
  • Some Tai chi exercises

His advice is to, “Just do it!  Start, stay active and get involved.”  Brazeale says you don’t even need a gym or a personal trainer (he never used either), but thinks that they are beneficial to those who need help staying on-track and motivated.

“I’d say do whatever it takes for improved health and overall fitness and well-being,” said Brazeale. “Start now.”

*Photos contributed by Sidney Wheelan.

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