05/14/2015 10:29 am ET Updated May 14, 2015

Why Older Runners Are Ultrarunners

Shutterstock / kurhan

How far will an aging ultradistance runner go?

On March 1, the day after his 80th birthday, Bill Dodson of Mountain View, Calif., tested his limits.

On a frigid day in Caumsett State Park on Long Island — competing in a 50-kilometer (31-mile) race that was also serving as the USA Track & Field National 50K Championship — Mr. Dodson made a dogged effort to set a record for the 80- to 85-year-old age group.

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