Advice from Sun City nonagenarians: Stay active

abredeson@islandpacket.comOctober 23, 2012 

Counter-clockwise from left, Edward Jerger, Ray Herring, Dana Stewart, Joyce Murdoch, Dick Rider and Dorothy Miller, shown here at Pinckney Hall in Sun City Hilton Head are participating in the Beaufort Jasper Active Adult Challenge through Nov. 1.

SARAH WELLIVER/STAFF PHOTO

  • The 16th annual Beaufort Jasper Active Adult Challenge kicked off last week and will run through Nov. 1 at various locations throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties. Details: www.bjaac.org

Dick Rider plays golf once a week, bowls twice a week and plays cards three times a week.

At age 97, he is the oldest participant of the 16th annual Beaufort Jasper Active Adult Challenge. He will compete in bowling, something he has done almost every year the challenge has been held.

"And it's (an activity) that I can handle right now," he said.

Rider is one of seven people in their 90s participating in this year's Active Adult Challenge. The two-week challenge kicked off Friday with an opening ceremony and a parade of athletes. The competitions began Saturday with a 10-mile bicycle ride and a three-mile run. The challenge will run through Nov. 1 and will include activities such as dominos, bridge, basketball, swimming and track and field. More than 600 people ages 50 and older are participating in this year's activities.

Joyce Murdock, 91, will be putting for her second year. She won the gold medal last year.

"I love it," she said. "I can't believe that I'm getting around at this age."

Murdock said walking is what keeps her active.

Dana Stewart, 92, had a stroke, but he doesn't let that stop him from being active. Although he has a hard time speaking now, he still gets out and exercises. His wife, Jo, said he does a lot of water walking. And that's what he will be doing during the Active Adult Challenge.

"He just enjoys being with the people," Jo said.

Dorothy Miller, 90, will be playing singles billiards for her third year in the challenge and playing doubles for her second year.

"It's a fun game," Miller said. "I like to play."

John Gervasi, 90, also will play billiards at this year's challenge. He said he's participated in the event for about 10 years.

Edward Jerger, 90, has competed in swimming for at least 10 years, and this year is no exception. He swims with the Lowcountry Masters Swim Team and has competed in regional, state and national events.

"It makes you feel fit, like the exercise you do is worth it," he said.

Gray Herring, 90, has a busy schedule planned. He already competed in a 10-mile bicycle ride and a three-mile walk, and he will play croquet and do some putting as well.

Herring said he loves exercising outdoors. He rides his bike 10 to 20 miles a day, walks and plays croquet and golf.

"All this has kept me healthy," he said. "It's kept me going."

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