Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Henry Sypniewski-running legend

This is what it's all about. One of the best WNY athletes you never heard of passed away this week. Distance runner Henry Sypniewski sucumbed to stomach cancer at the age of 93. What's amazing about Sypniewski's athletic accomplishments is that they didn't start until he turned 70...

Sypniewski also was as tough as any runner in a given race. One time in his late 80s during the Shamrock Run, he took a nasty spill on a bridge that forced him to clean up some blood from his clothes after the finish. When asked about it, he simply said, "Aw, I'll get over it."

Sypniewski set American records for the fastest half-marathon by a 90-94 runner (3 hours, 3 minutes and 56 seconds), and at 15-kilometers by an 85-89 runner (57:33).

The WNY running community is very competitive. Every serious runner in these parts knew Sypniewski or knew of him. He will forever be remembered by them as a legend. To stay in the game that long and compete was an incredible accomplishment. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but from what I'm told, he will be greatly missed. I wonder if the race director with the bullhorn will be directing traffic at the funeral?

Henry Sypniewski was a runner for the ages

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