At an age when most people are confined to one spot in their home or care facility, Robert Marchand is still going. And setting records. Last week, 105-year-old Marchand set a world record- in a category created just for him- by pedaling 14 miles in one hour. His record was set in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, a town located just east of Paris.
According to Marchand, he missed a sign telling him he had 10 minutes left to cycle, “Otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time. I’m not tired.”
Marchand was born in 1911 and is a former firefighter, truck driver (in Venezuela in the 1940s), and lumberjack (in Canada). He picked up cycling at 68 years old and in 1992, he cycled from Moscow to Paris.
Marchand lives off a monthly pension of about $950 in a small apartment in a suburb of Paris. He rides daily on a stationary bike and is an avid reader of L’Humanite (a communist newspaper founded in 1904). He doesn’t smoke and only drinks occasionally. His diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables but no meat; he recently quit eating it after shocking recent reports on how animals are subjected to cruel treatment. He’s in bed by 9 and awake at 6 a.m.. Every morning. Amazing.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Marchand has issued a challenge, “I’m now waiting for a rival.”
We are so grateful to people like Robert Marchand who remind us to move our bodies- they are incredible machines.