2017 Amateur Award Winner
At the young age of 85, the All Sports Association is honored to announce octogenarian John Hurd as winner of our 2017 Amateur Award. Earning the nickname “Usain Bolt of the Senior Games,” John was the 2015 Senior Games National Sprint Champion in the 80-84 age group in the 50m, 100m, 200m dashes and 4×100 relay. In 13 years of competition at the Florida State Championships, he is undefeated in the 50m, 100m and 200m. John continues to compete at the highest level and plans to attend the bi-annual National event again this year. In the spring of 1992, at age 60, John was inspired by a story of an Olympic sprinter who overcame physical challenges to win the gold medal. Having never competed in his school days he wondered “What if I were to start training and see if maybe, just maybe, I could beat some of the speed merchants of my earlier years?” This was the beginning of a remarkable life of hard work, mental focus, self-training and achievement that he never expected. The first National medal came in 2007, a gold in the 4×100 relay. John almost did not go to the games as he had pulled a groin muscle and knew he could not run his best. His wife Sandy encouraged him to go just to see his friends. He was asked by his Tennessee friends to join the relay team; they were confident they could beat anyone. Little did he know he would bring home his first National Gold! John managed to come home with the 2007 silver medal in the 100m dash, silver in the 200m dash and another Gold Medal in the 4 X 100 relay from the National Games. Then, in the 2013 National Championships at age 81, John won gold in the 50m, 100m, 200m dashes and the 4×100 relay with National records in the latter two! John has earned All American honors 19 out of the last 20 years. The one year missed was by 1/100th of a second!
John holds five records in the State of Florida: the 200m dash for 75-79 age bracket at 32.66 seconds; the 50m dash for 80-84 and 85-89 age brackets at 8.90 seconds and 9.12 seconds, respectively; the 100m dash for 85-89 age bracket at 17.68 seconds; and the 200m dash for 85-89 age bracket at 38.63 seconds. Nationally, John holds records in the 50m dash for the 80-84 age bracket at 8.72 seconds and the 4×100 relay in the 80-84 age bracket at 75.99 seconds.
To date, John has earned 129 gold medals, 41 silver medals and eight bronze medals and has won state titles in Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. In 2010, John received the Pensacola Sports Association Special Achievement Award. In 2012, John was inducted into the Memphis Tennessee Amateur Sports Hall of Fame. At age 82, John was awarded the Pensacola Amateur Athlete of the Year Award.
Many of his friends and family encouraged him to write a book about his adventures. In 2015 he did! With a little help from his wife, Sandy, and his youngest son, Kevin, Johnny Run Lately, the Life and Adventures of a Latter Day Sprint Champion! became a reality and is currently available through www.jhurdsr. com and www.booklocker.com (or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a signed paperback copy). This is a heartwarming story about life, achievement, encouragement and lots of other fun along the way totally unexpected!
John began a career in the new field of computers in 1956 with IBM, retiring in 2000 from State Technical Institute at Memphis, where he was Director of the Computer Resource Center. He continues to teach computer classes, adjunct, for Pensacola State College. John has been recognized by people of all ages, including elementary children where he works out on the track at Destin Elementary School. He is a wonderful person, champion, brother, husband, and father to his boys, David, John and Kevin. He has motivated many to become more then they thought they could. John lives with his wife Sandy, his 100% supporter, in Navarre, Florida.