Fri, May 06, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei 101 race veteran, 94, to compete again

Staff Writer, with CNA

Peng Hung-nian on Wednesday holds up his identity card in Taipei after registering for the annual race up Taipei 101 on June 5. Peng, 94, began participating in the race in 2005 and is now a six-year veteran of the event.

Photo: CNA

A 94-year-old man will take part in the annual race up the Taipei 101 skyscraper this year, his seventh consecutive year.

Taipei resident Peng Hung-nian (彭宏年), the oldest racer to register so far this year, first made the ascent of the 2,046 stairs to the building’s outdoor observatory in the first year the race was held — 2005 — and has been a regular competitor ever since. In 2005, he finished the race within 30 minutes, but last year he took about 40 minutes.

“This year, it would be good if I can finish within an hour. I know I’m old. I’m one year older each year,” Peng said on Wednesday. “Climbing [91 floors] is not that easy and of course it’s tiring, but you have to endure.”

Peng said this was his philosophy for life — no matter how tiring it is, you have to endure.

Many people find it hard to believe Peng is in his 90s because he is in such good shape. Asked how he keeps fit, he said he exercises early every morning, including jogging and climbing stairs, even though his doctor has warned him about wearing out his knees.

Race organizers said they have also invited African Paralympic gold medalist Henry Wanyoike, who is visually impaired, to be one of the expected 6,000 participants in this year’s race on June 5.

This year’s race will be the biggest ever, organizers said, to mark the Republic of China’s 100th anniversary. Previous races have been limited to 2,000 to 3,000 runners.

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