Whilden motivated to master another challenge
After capturing the 100 and 200-meter championships in the 40-year-old division of the Masters competition in New York City, Bobby Whilden put away his running shoes.
He was 45.
Fast forward 25 years and Whilden laced up his shoes and began running again.
"Why?" he said, answering a question with a question. "I had to keep up with my grandchildren."
Whilden, who led the Texas Longhorns to three straight Southwest Conference track championships from 1955-57, did more than just keep up with his grandchildren.
This year at age 70, Whilden set a new world record in his Masters age group, finishing the 100 meters in 12.76 seconds. He also claimed the 200-meter race in the event held in Pittsburgh in late June.
"I guess it was sort of a challenge," said Whilden, who was a 1998 inductee into the UT Hall of Honor, recognizing a distinguished career at Texas where he also earned All-America honors three times.
"I sort of wanted to see if I could still do it," he said.
Not that it was easy for Whilden, who is a retired partner of Vinson & Elkins law firm and currently is vice president and general counsel of BMC Software, Inc.
"I stopped running because of problems with my hamstrings," he explained. "I wondered if I would be able to run effectively again."
He need not wonder any longer.