I’m at Presque Isle State Park, a destination for people who love to exercise outdoors.  Running, walking, biking, roller blading, beach volleyball.  You name it.  You see a lot of athletes out here.  Including a regular visitor who is 88-years old.    

Lu Sitzler is a a longtime athlete from Erie.  She's here at the peninsula participating in a one mile run even though it is close to 90 degrees and humid. Lu's relatives came from across the country for a long-awaited family reunion.  The highlight of the reunion is this one mile run to honor Lu and her love for running.  The hot summer weather did not deter Lu from running the entire mile. I asked her how she was doing as she hit the halfway mark.

“Good.  Great,” she said. “Still going.”  

Lu had a nice celebration with her family as she crossed the finish line.  It's rare to see a 88-year old running in the heat and humidity. But Lu has been a rare athlete all of her life.  As a kid, she played sports when most girls were not encouraged to play.

"Girls didn't play basketball in the 1940s.  Girls didn't play baseball or softball in the 40s.  But we didn't know we would be pioneers.  We just were kids and just loved the sports,” she says.   

Lu's participation in sports stopped when she got married and raised five children. But, she became active again in her mid-40s. She was a regular participant in the Quad Games..a competition that included running, biking, skiing and swimming.  She just could not stop exercising.  And nowadays, there is a group won't let her stop.  It's called SAMR’s. (pronounced Sammers)  It stands for The Saturday A.M. Runners although they don't run anymore.  They walk.   The group organized on a Saturday morning in 1982 and they've gotten together every Saturday morning ever since.

Gloria Metzgar is one of the original members.

"We just kept on multiplying,” says Gloria. “We just had a good time together and we just made sure we met every Saturday.  That was our big deal.  And we went for donuts afterwards.”  

SAMR’s Member Linda Wilkinson is not surprised that Lu would still be out running with her family at age 88.

"It made sense.  It made a perfect fit,” says Linda. “She has always been an inspiration for her family in so many ways.  Not just running."  

Lu says she stopped running full-time two years ago because of a fear of falling.  However, she could not resist getting together with her family for that one-miler on the peninsula.  She says the event made her realize how much she misses running.  She says she may go out and do it again.

Keep on going Lu.  Keep on going.