Conquer the podium at 77

Management. Residents of chemin du Golf may have seen Mario Landreville running one morning or the other. After running dozens of marathons and hundreds of half marathons, the Drummondville resident will compete in the second National Games for Seniors in the US from May 10-23.

Mario Landreville participated in the 2019 Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He finished the 10 km race in ninth place between the 70-74 age group with a time of 53 minutes 52 seconds. Then, in the 5 km race, he took 15th place with a time of 26 minutes 15 seconds. It was these results that allowed him to qualify for the following games to be shown in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He will again participate in the 5 and 10 kilometer races, but this time in the 75-79 age group.

The athlete’s goal is clear: he’s shooting for the podium. So take the means to achieve this by enlisting the services of a trainer, massage therapist, and nutritionist.

“The training plan was developed to achieve this goal. I’ve been working with my team since January. We know our target time for the podium thanks to previous editions. It’s one race. There are no qualifications. Over 5 kilometres, there’s no time to lose,” declared Mr. Landreville.

Mario Landreville aims for a podium at the US National Senior Games. (Ghislaine Bergeron photos)

The 5K event will be especially special for Drummondville residents, as he will celebrate his 77th birthday on the same day, May 12th. The 10 km will take place on May 14. Races start at 7:00 a.m. so athletes don’t have to contend with the Florida heat during their races.

Usually, about fifty people participate in the racing events. For all Senior Games, the number of athletes over 55 years of age is expected to reach 12,000, divided into 25 disciplines. They will be three Quebec athletes, including Mario Landreville, to go to Florida for the games. On site, Drummondvillois will be accompanied by Michele Croteau, of travel agency Marathours, who will take care of his leadership and support during the Games.

Mario Landreville is what you would call a racing freak. He can run approximately 85 kilometers per week without taking a day off. His coach reduced him to fifty kilometers a week and imposed a day off to be at his best during competitions.

“I do shorter but more intense distances in preparation for two races. After the games, I will be able to resume my usual rhythm. My training plan is also based on a half marathon. The past two months have been mostly focused on the games. The runner explained that everything we did was with the goal of subtracting seconds from the race times.”

The results are already tangible. Thanks to all the adjustments made with his team, Mario Landreville clocked a time of 2 hours 4 minutes 14 seconds in the Sorrell Tracy half marathon on April 24 and then on May 1, he improved his result with a time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 31 seconds in the Levi’s Half Marathon. The 70-year-old said he woke up in great shape the day after Levis’ race.

Age is not an excuse

In Mr. Landreville’s age, many would be tempted to slow down for various reasons. However, he is not like most people. Mario Landreville is still hungry for sporting challenges. Because of this, he is already aiming to participate in the 2023 Seniors Games in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It also wants to show that age should not act as a brake on physical activity in particular.

Mario Landreville decorated his home office with all his sports memorabilia. (Ghislaine Bergeron photos)

“It is the challenge that drives me to participate in the games. I also want to make people realize that age is not a limit. This year, I have been running for 35 years; I started at 42. At the time, I could not even complete a kilometer. I was working in the bakery With my parents I also had asthma. The doctor advised me to change my job because of the flour dust. I learned that by exercising, I can improve my posture and this is how I started running,” he said.

During his younger years, Mario Landreville was very athletic. He trained in competitive cycling and was recruited by the Quebec Hockey Team as a goalkeeper at the age of 16. However, at the age of 18, he gave up his activities to work in the family bakery.

Today, after 35 years of running, Mario Landreville has completed 37 marathons, two marathons, and 287 half marathons. He hopes to reach 300 by the end of the year. It was also registered for the Canadian 55+ Games which will be held in Kamloops, British Columbia, in August.

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