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Dispatches : Athletes

Archetypes: Runner Bill Iffrig

CV: Grew up in Everett, Washington. Married Donna Ayres in 1954. Worked in Everett-area pulp-and-paper mills for 42 years until he retired, in 1994, at 60. Completed the first of 45 marathons in 1976. In April, Iffrig, wearing a bright orange singlet, was nearly finished with his third Boston Marathon when he was knocked down by shock waves from a pressure-cooker bomb. A photographer captured him sprawled on his back, with three policemen standing above him and smoke filling the air, an image that went viral and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Iffrig got up and staggered to the finish. “I would have crawled there if I had to,” he says. He finished with a time of 4:03:47.

35: USA Track and Field national championships Iffrig has won in his age group.

Up Next: Another fall marathon—location TBD.

On Staying Young: “My parents loved to have a good time and drink too much. My mother died at 64, and my -father died at 67. They both could have lived so much longer. I have a beer once in a while, but I don’t abuse it. I’m going to stick with running. It’s kind of fun to win a lot.”

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Archetypes: Mountaineer Ed Viesturs

CV: Started climbing at age 16 after reading Maurice Herzog’s Annapurna. Moved to Seattle for college in 1977; soon started guiding on Mount Rainier. Finished veterinarian school at Washington State University in 1987. Completed first of seven Everest summits in 1990. Quit practicing as a vet that same year. Became the first American to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen in May 2005.

212: Successful Rainier summits.

Up Next: His new book, The Mountain: My Time on Everest, cowritten with David Roberts, is out this month. He continues to trail run five days a week, bikes frequently, climbs Rainier twice a summer, and works as a design consultant for Eddie Bauer.

On Keeping Fit: “It’s money in the bank. You’re making deposits now that you can draw on when you’re 65, 75. Every day, I work out and go running or biking. If someone says, ‘Ed, can you leave tomorrow to go to Everest?’ I want to be able to say yes.”

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Archetypes: Climber Ashima Shiraishi

CV: Daughter of Japanese immigrants. Took up bouldering in Central Park at age six. Climbed Crown of Aragorn, in Hueco Tanks, Texas, a V13 bouldering problem that’s one of the most difficult routes ever climbed by a woman, at age ten. Now spends 20 hours per week training at the Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym. Won the American Boulder Series Youth National Championships in March. Excels at woodworking class. Collects stickers.

Two: Number of documentaries that have featured her.

Up Next: Junior high. But first, a climbing trip in Switzerland.

Why Being Young Rules: “You get to go to parks that have age limits and are only for kids. And water-gun fights. It’s humid in New York in the summer, so we have a lot of water-gun fights.”

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Young Blood: Grayson Campbell

AGE: 15
SPORT: Diving

“I was 7 when I first started diving,” remembers springboard specialist Grayson Campbell. “ I used to just throw myself off the diving board, but my mom didn’t want me to hurt myself, so she put me in lessons.”

Campbell says his favorite thing about the sport is competition because “it’s where you can show what you’ve learned all year long, and it brings out the best in your diving.”

After winning a slew of national titles, Campbell made finals at Junior Worlds in Australia in 2012. Earlier this year he won silver in synchro at the Puerto Rico Grand Prix. Most recently, Campbell won the 1-meter and 3-meter events at Junior Nationals in early August, which qualified him to represent the U.S. at the Junior Pan Am Diving Championships in Tucson in September. After that? “I’d like to make a senior World Championship team and go to the Olympics,” says the 5-foot-5 Virginia native. “That’s the highest level you can compete in diving.”  

But in the meantime, drivers beware. “Officially have my permit,” Campbell tweeted on July 29. Follow him at @gmcampbell1.

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