DES MOINES, Iowa – If you live in Des Moines, you may have spotted Brenda Schuman preparing for the Grand Blue Mile Street Run and she will become the first 81-year-old person to compete in the 80-89 female age category race on Tuesday.

“It feels good. [As] I said, I feel so fortunate that I am still in good health, can go out and be active. I can participate in things. I can volunteer,” said Schuman.

Schuman said she first fell in love with participating in races by accident. “In 2015, I bid on a package for my grandson’s pre-school silent auction. I thought I was bidding for a massage, but actually, it was a part of a 5k training package, so that’s when I started running at 74.”

Since 2015, Schuman has participated in many other races in the area, including the Des Moines 5k marathon and the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure.

“We wanted this to be really community-friendly, very inclusive [and] very accessible,” said the Wellmark Activation Manager and the Grand Blue Mile Race Co-Director Chris Verlengia.

“To see that kind of come to fruition and people really starting to embrace, ‘your race, your pace,’ mentality it’s really meaningful, and I think directionally the event is right where it needs to be.”

Meanwhile, since this race is inclusive, Brenda said she is looking forward to having her grandson by her side as she has done in the past.

“It’s good. Even though he [grandson] says that he walks faster than I run, I still enjoy being with him,” said Schuman.

As Schuman prepares to set a record, she believes it is never too late for anyone to join the race of life. “I almost [think] that life begins at 70. I got my first tattoo 76.”

Verlengia said Schuman will be recognized at the Grand Blue Mile Street Run as the course record holder in her age division.

Registration for the race will remain open until 6 pm on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. You can sign up to register by clicking here.