Rocker Brush Shiels (76) fails to break the sprint record on the first attempt but finishes the 100m in 18 seconds
He didn’t quite break the world record on his first attempt, but for a 76-year-old rock legend with a double hip replacement and cardio defibrillator, a 100m sprint in 18 seconds isn’t not so bad.
Guitarist and vocalist Brush Shiels is determined to improve that time in the coming weeks and believes he can meet the challenge of the 13-second sprint for the over-75s.
He also plans to post videos of his stretching exercises to help other seniors and seniors with hip replacements keep their bodies flexible.
The man who taught Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott and Eurovision winner Johnny Logan to play guitar, missed the 100m challenge record by over 70 by one second five years ago .
After a double hip replacement last summer, he walked with sticks in a YouTube video on BeeGees’ tune smash ‘Staying Alive’ just a week after the operation.
And on New Years Day, under the watchful eye of his old friend and GAA manager Sean Boylan, he took to the track in Meath’s Dunboyne AC and “went like the tap dance.”
“I had both hips done at the same time and after three weeks of recovery I could do everything except dance Argentine tango,” he said.
“I think it was the first time they had done a double hip operation at Bon Secours but I wasn’t back in the hall until I started a song.
“I was only one second away from US holder Bobby Whilden’s 12.77 seconds in 2015, so now I’m aiming to be the first person over 75 with a double hip prosthesis and pacemaker to sprint on. 100 m in 13 seconds.
“I never run for more than a minute a day every two or three days. It’s all I do per minute, but I find that the stretching keeps my body relaxed.”
He said he used different stretching techniques, including the “Alexander Method” used by stage actors to relax.
“ChiGong and the Feldenkrais Method to keep me nimble.
“I went like tap dancing on New Years Day and despite a blustery crosswind I was very happy with my time.
“I would never be up to the challenge without Sean Boylan. He’s my watch and my whistle and my best friend and a few other runners have come to support me,” he said.
The rocker said every week he gets slightly better.
“After hip surgery, your stride is shorter, so your feet have to move faster. But I feel exceptionally good. I feel like I’m going to do it – there’s a very good chance I will. crack this thing (record).
“When I tried to break the record five years ago and finished the 100m in 14 seconds, you have to remember I was wearing my hat and my coat that day, so yeah, I hope to get there.
“It’s unheard of for someone my age with a double hip prosthesis and an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) to sprint. You could do a five or ten kilometer run or walk, but you wouldn’t. not by truck.
“A lot of people are now interested in how I keep my body supple and loose and I plan to post some simple stretching exercises on YouTube for the elderly and those who have had hip replacements. .
“I’ll be back for a run in a few weeks but I’ll know for myself when I can’t go faster and then find something else to do,” he said.