SENIOR BEAT – Partners in life Bob Callori, 75, and Chris Goodwin, 66, also share a passion for Track and Field. Both competed in the 2018 Bay Area Senior Games in May – and both were front-runners.
Both ran in the 400-meter and the 800-meter sprints, but in their different age groups. “I won Gold in both and Bob won Silver in both,” Goodwin said. “My times place me in third place in the U.S. for my age group, 65 to 69.”
“We both race in in the 400-meter sprint (one lap around a standard outdoor track), the 800-meter sprint (two laps), and the 4 X 100 relay (four runners who each complete one lap),” said Goodwin.
Running is their life and their athleticism shows, not just in their physiques, but in their home. Goodwin has about 65 medals and Callori between 80 and 100 for coming in first, second and third.
“My first event competing I came in fifth, but was only 2/100ths of a second behind to be tied for third in the 400-meter,” Goodwin said. He was one of 530 athletes representing California at the 2013 Summer National Senior Games in Cleveland. A special plaque in their family room, framed with a letter signed by Gov. Brown, marks the achievement.
Today, Goodwin ranks third in the U.S. in his age group, 65 to 69, and 12th in the world in the 400-meter sprint. In the 800-meter, he’s third in the U.S. and 18th in the world. “My goal is to get in the top 10 in the world,” Goodwin said.
Filling a gap
The couple trains and competes in the same clubs and organization all year long. Both men took up running after a major life transition – Callori after being laid off as an architectural programmer at 58, Goodwin after he came out and left a marriage to a woman at 54.
Callori took his layoff as an opportunity to retire. A friend introduced him to San Francisco Frontrunners, a club that celebrates both running and walking and welcomes people of all abilities.
“I started by walking around Stow Lake, twice, which is two miles,” Callori said. “After a while, people in Frontrunners encouraged me to start running.” He began at Stow Lake on Saturday mornings with his club, which also offers a three-mile Carousel Run, a four-mile Bison Run, the five-mile Ocean Run, and a “Coyote Challenge” Cross Fit style workout.
“When I got up to running three miles without stopping, I decided to compete in the 2002 Sydney, Australia Gay Games,” Callori said. He went to the San Francisco Track and Field Club to help him prepare.
The SFTFC seeks to promote gay and lesbian athletes of all ages, helping participants set and achieve goals with training and support. It meets every Sunday from late January to early October. The teams also meet in the evenings during the week.
There are a number of track meets available to athletes, from local all-comer meets to national championships. The USA Track and Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field, holds sanctioned meets, a prestigious series of nationally televised competitions.
Callori and Goodwin participate in the annual Bay Area Senior Games, Pacific Association Masters Track and Field, Sonoma Wine Country Senior Games, Sierra Gold Track and Field Meet, the Gay Games (every four years), and the annual Pride Meet.
Goodwin started running at 54. He also joined Frontrunners and when he was able to run three miles without stopping, he went on to train with SFTFC on Sundays.
Developing special workouts
He continues to train hard, including mid-week, even though he is still working as vice-president of global operations for Shaklee, a manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements, weight management, beauty and household products.
Over the years, Goodwin did a lot of research on workouts for track and field runners. He coaches the SFTFC team he and Callori are on, incorporating workouts he designed especially for sprinters, and mid- and long-distance runners.
“We’ve both had some minor injuries along the way, but nothing we couldn’t overcome,” said Callori. “Our workouts and training keep us in shape.”
One of the grand perks of running track and field is the chance to travel to different U.S. cities and other countries to compete. Both Goodwin and Callori have competed in Chicago, Cleveland, Copenhagen and Cologne. “In the fall, 2018, we’re going to Paris,” said Goodwin.
Another perk is meeting people who are passionate about the sport. “It’s wonderfully social getting to know all my competitors. After each SFTFC meet, we go out to dinner and celebrate the sport of track and field with our fellow runners,” said Callori.
Other San Francisco Senior Game athletes
Janice Wood, 72 – Swimming
“I’m a retired ESL teacher at San Francisco City College. I grew up in New Jersey across the street from a lake, but never belonged to a swim team. I joined the Dolphin Club in 2007 and started swimming in the Bay, which required joining U.S. Masters. I first attended the Senior Games with a friend in 2015 and returned as a competitor in 2016. I returned again this year in four freestyle events. It was a fun day among supportive folks … and I medaled in all four events.”
Gary Mizono, 65 – Golf
“I enjoyed participating in the senior games. I just retired from a long career in medicine and look forward to more golf and travel.”
John Suarez, 62 – Cycling
“I have been involved in competitive cycling since high school.Laid off during college and grad school to focus on academics. Came back to the sport after moving back to SF to work (as an architect). I raced competitively in UCSF events, ATT Corporate 4-Man Team Time Trial events, and World Corporate Games in the late 80’s early 90’s. Took a big break starting my own firm, gained 50 pounds, lost 50 pounds, and started racing again around 2010. Last year I was ranked (for 2K Track Individual Pursuit) at second in California, 10th in U.S., and 13th in the World Championships (which was in LA in 2017). I ride usually around 80 to 100 miles a week. I am married with a 16-year-old son (whose passion is fencing…?)”
Mark Valera, almost 61 – Track & Field
“I have competed for 50 years. I have been blessed with good health and the ability to stay in good shape as a result. I’m very grateful to attend events with fellow athletes who inspire me to continue to do my personal best.”
Phillip Aquilar, 50 – Road Race
“I can’t believe I’m competing at my first Senior Games, but looking forward to sharing this new phase of my running life with my fellow competitors!”