Raymond Sapp qualifies for Nationals at the Missouri State Senior Games

Sunday, June 13, 2010 | 8:58 p.m. CDT; updated 12:26 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 14, 2010

Just when Raymond Sapp thought there wasn’t any way he could win the race while trailing behind three bicyclists, he looked up and saw that he was gaining on them. He caught up to them and with 200 meters left, he took off.

“I just thought to myself I have to give everything I got right now,” said Sapp. “I have to make it to the finish line.”

Sapp, 63, was the first to cross the finish line for his age group in the 40K road race at the Missouri State Senior Games on Saturday, June 12.

“It was close,” said Sapp. “Really close.”

Despite how close the race was, Sapp’s ending time was one hour and 14 minutes. Being that he finished first for his age group of 60-64, he is now invited to attend the National Senior Games that will be held in Houston, Tex.

Sapp also competed in the 10K time trial, where he finished second in his age group with a time of 14 minutes and 54 seconds. For his placement in this event, Sapp qualifies to compete in the both the 5K and10K time trial at the National Senior Games.

Sapp has been cycling competitively for over 10 years after his interest in cycling began in 1986 during rehabilitation for knee surgery. Since then, he looks to cycling to not only fulfill his desire for competitiveness in the senior games, but as a way of life. 

“Cycling is one of those things that have kept me healthy,” said Sapp. “I hope to still do it when I’m 75 and 80.”

Sapp encourages people of all ages to ride a bike and reap the benefits, but thinks that senior games are a great way to keep older people healthy.

“I think it’s a good incentive for the older generation to get into,” explained Sapp. “The weight of people that you see now, you can see that they aren’t taking care of themselves how they need to. Cycling gets your heart going.”

 Now that the Missouri State Senior Games are over, Sapp is  considering going to the National games. It would be his fourth National Senior Games and he said it would give him a year to train and get better.

“I was totally surprised with my racing this year,” said Sapp. “I didn’t think I was going to do that well! I’m very pleased with it.”

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