COLUMBIA - Robert Eade, 77, of Washington walked into the stuffy Hearnes Center to play a game of darts.
An avid runner and self-proclaimed "fitness dude," he began competing in darts and shuffleboard because of his wife, Janet Eade.
'I thought, ‘I’ll do darts, too,'" Eade said. “So we did shuffleboard together, we did darts together, but she did billiards the same time I did marksmanship at other games. So she does billiards instead of marksmanship."
He initially started participating in the Missouri State Senior Games in track and field events because of his past involvement in track in high school, college and during his time in the Navy.
“We did it on an aircraft carrier in those days,” Eade said.
He continued to run in his neighborhood and in 5k races. Once he became aware of Senior Games and was eligible, he began to compete in the running events. Individuals 50 years old and older are eligible to participate in the games.
“Once I retired, I had more time to do a lot of things in the Senior Games,” Eade said. “So I do swimming and a lot of other events.”
Eade works out four to five times a week starting at the end of February and continuing through Thanksgiving.
“I eat too much for Thanksgiving to continue running after,” he said, laughing.
In the Missouri State Senior Games, Eade plans to participate in the 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 800-meter prediction walk, high jump, running long jump, standing long jump, discus and darts.
Each year, Eade competes in four to five Senior Games throughout the state. So far this year he has competed in the Springfield “Southwest Missouri Senior Games” and St. Charles County “Golden Games.” He hopes to compete in the “Southeast Missouri Senior Games” in Perryville and the “Franklin County Silver Games” in Union in August and September, respectively.
“It’s all fun and games,” he said. “I’m just happy I can do it.”
As of noon Saturday, Eade had placed first in his age division in darts, second in his age division in the 100 and the 400, and third in his age division in the running long jump.
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.
Robert Eade participates in the hammer throw event at the Senior State Games at Walton Stadium on Saturday. He has been participating in track and field events since high school.