(WJTV) — For years now, Mississippi has had the reputation as being one of the unhealthiest states in the union.
The Mississippi Track Club is working to change both that perception and reality.
At its peak, the Mississippi Track Club was 800 members strong. It’s down to about 500 now, but Bennett Randman is committed to bringing numbers back up, one step at a time.
Bennett Randman’s enthusiasm is contagious.
“It’s all mind over matter,” he said. “Your body doesn’t mind, Your age doesn’t matter.”
At somewhere North of 60, Bennett’s zest for life is inspiring. He wasn’t always this way. In his mid 40’s he considered ending it all. Then he walked. Then he prayed.
“Walking saved my life,” Bennett said. “I haven’t been depressed since 1996.”
“I’m in the best shape of my life. My blood pressure is 110 over 60. My resting pulse is about 48. I feel better now than I did when I was in my 20s.”
Bennett’s role as Public Relations officer for the Mississippi Club fits like an ankle sock in Asics running shoe.
“We are a club that emphasizes fitness, family, and fellowship through running and walking in Mississippi, just getting people off the couch and outside and to the races,” Bennett said.
Most weekends you don’t have to look very hard to find a road race somewhere around the Jackson Metro.
“Just come on out on a Saturday morning when we have a local race, and just look at the number of people who are just out there, just slow walking, jogging and just having a good time. Not giving a flip about what their time is when they cross the line,” he said.
Membership in the Mississippi Track Club is $30 a year for adults, $15 for kids and seniors. That money goes for things race sponsorships and digital race clocks.
You’ll also know about the running related news in the state. Mississippi Track Club members are also eligible for discounts some local restaurants.
Bennett is looking forward to the Tomato Festival 5k that’s coming up June 24 in Crystal Springs.