St. Matthew’s member wins gold in Senior Games

9/23/2009

Perry L. Huff of Jackson recently claimed gold medals in the 200- and 400-meter dashes in the National Senior Games held in Palo Alto, Calif.

Huff, a member of Madison St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, was timed in 34.79 seconds in the 200, 1:21.85 in the 400 and 17.19 in the 100, where he finished second by one-tenth of a second. The games were held Aug. 6-8 at Stanford University.

Huff never ran track at Caledonia High or Mississippi State University and only began to run competitively at age 64. His wife Gay Huff read in The Clarion-Ledger about the Mississippi Senior Olympics competition being held in the Jackson area and urged Perry to participate. That boost began Perry’s participating occasionally in the event. 

When Huff was able to participate in the Mississippi Senior Olympics, he would win the gold or silver medals in the 100, 200 and 400. His motto: “ I don’t run just to compete. I don’t run to do the best I can. I run to win!”

To qualify for the National Senior Games, participants must finish in the top three in an event in the State Olympics in the year prior to the national event. Huff ran in the 2008 Senior Olympics at Mississippi College in Clinton to qualify to represent Mississippi in the 2009 National Senior Games. Huff trained and worked out in preparation at the Baptist Healthplex Center in Jackson with Tony James as his personal fitness coordinator.

St. Matthew’s UMC has a vigorous Health and Wellness Ministry, chaired by Carole Mains. Huff attributes his racing success to exercise, a healthy lifestyle and daily naps.