For most people running track and field stops the minute they are out of school and have a family. But for Eddie Lindsay Bodden that was when he hit his stride.
The Cayman Brac native has a long and colourful history that saw him go in and out of the sport several times.
Bodden began doing track in junior high school at the age of 13. While in the 7th grade at Tampa, Florida’s Pierce High School a young Eddie fell in love with going fast on a rubberized surface.
He continued to run for the rest of his time at Pierce and at Leto High School. From there he would go on to graduate from the University of West Florida in 1972.
Unfortunately while pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Business Management he could not run. The college did not have a track or a track program.
As the 60 year old explains, he was forced away from the sport and soon put focus on the rest of his life.
‘I had a gap because there was no collegiate track or track team. I stayed away from the sport for about 10 years.’
But as fate would have it, he would find his way back into running at age 31. While he was living in Orlando, a few friends got him to try out distance running in 5ks, 10ks and so on.
One thing led to another and for the next 21 years Bodden would rededicate his life to track. He would end up across the States from California and Washington to Louisiana and North Carolina.
For Bodden the time was spent refining his stride and delighting in a passion he had sorely missed at school.
Thereafter Bodden would return home to Cayman at age 51. For the past nine years Bodden has established a new life as a residential realtor and the owner of local ice cream shop Cayman Traditions.
Though Cayman’s running scene is limited Bodden has been to as many events as he could. From the Pirates Week 5k to the Cancer Society run Bodden has done it all.
Before returning to Cayman Bodden got involved with US Masters Track and Field. Basically the sporting body is set up for people beyond their early thirties who want to continue competing in locales across the US.
That is why Bodden now finds himself in Spokane, Washington this week from 7-10 August as a competitor in the 2008 US Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
There he faces off against other older athletes, many being former Olympians, in the 400m and 800m events.
Bodden says he continues to compete nowadays for the joy of pushing himself on the track.
‘The nice thing about Masters is the inspiration it offers me to see men and women at any age be extremely competitive.
‘They inspire me to stay fit because they are truly remarkable athletes who continue their love for track. I go out to get inspired and it offers me a nice outlet to enjoy track and field.’
Though competing may be a way for Bodden to enjoy the track he still keeps a staunch training regimen. For the last three months Bodden did training at a local track plus light weight workouts and treadmill exercises.
It’s easy to think that such a devotion to track would wreck havoc in his personal life. But Bodden says his family is just fine with his long-time love.
‘I have a little three year old girl and she loves to talk about running. She always wants to run with me. My wife is very supportive of it all even though she doesn’t run.’
At the end of the day age has no impact on Bodden’s fire for track and will not determine when that fire goes out.
‘I will continue to run as long as I’m physically able and I desire to. I have hip problems that could slow me up. But I will enjoy this and every experience to be on the track and face competition.’
Ultimately Bodden hopes his story and his travel to Spokane can inspire other locals. One day he says he would like to establish a gathering of mature people who would still like to run.
All interested persons can contact Eddie Lindsay Bodden at 916-6977.