Self-motivation gains runner state and national recognition - Sports - Explorer

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Self-motivation gains runner state and national recognition

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Hannah McLeod/The Explorer

Curt Woody, 56, works on interval training by running up a steep hill off of West Lambert Lane and North First Avenue. Woody competitively runs the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100 relay race on the local, state and national level.

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In a digital age where the tap on a phone screen or the click of a mouse can direct a person to a page filled with needed information, athletes such as Oro Valley resident Curt Woody, have used the Internet as a tool to help train in athletics more effectively.

“I knew that I was doing everything wrong so – this is what’s great about the Internet. I went onto YouTube and pulled up all these YouTube videos that showed me the correct technique,” said Curt, the economic development manager of Marana. “As I’m getting older I’m going further and doing better, because my technique early on was so horrible.”

For the last five years, Curt has stayed active in competing in track and field. Even with a 5-foot-6 height disadvantage, Curt has used his quickness and hard work to stay in step with his competitors. He played football and track in high school, but was never recognized as a top athlete. Now in his mid-50s Curt has gained state and national recognition – a feat only few can achieve.

Curt is no stranger to an active style of living. Every week he exercises whether that is through golfing, bicycling, softball, racquetball or running. He has been active his entire life and when he reached the 50 mark Curt decided he wanted to start training to compete in the senior Olympics.

“I knew I still had a little bit left in my legs so I decided to try it,” said Curt.

He started by competing in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100 relay race and went on to compete in the long jump and triple jump. Over the course of five years, Curt has been a five-time Arizona State Champion, Western Region Champion, and three-time All American.

Curt’s workouts focus primarily on cross training with at least two days of rest during the week. Evenings after work are either spent in the gym lifting or on the track running stadiums, sprints, jumping or doing plyometrics. Initially Curt just wanted to win a medal - now with a closet full of them his aim is higher than just winning in state competitions.

“I got even more serious this year and started pushing my goals out even further,” said Curt. “I look up records frequently and try to beat them, but when you compete, yeah you’re going against other people but ultimately you’re competing against yourself. If I get last place at nationals but hit my best jump ever, I’m okay.”

Last year Curt competed at nationals for the first time and finished with silver in the long jump and bronze in the triple jump and 4x100-meter relay race. Yet even a national medal left him somewhat unsatisfied.

“I checked the world rankings a couple months ago and in 2012 found that I was ranked number 18 in the long jump,” said Curt, who also set two Arizona State records that year in the long jump and triple jump, which have remained for 14 years. “I don’t have a trainer and I’m still learning so a lot of it comes down to self-motivation to do all this. Setting higher goals helps because it challenges me.”

Even at 56 years old Curt has no plans of retiring from the sport. He is still training and plans to until his body tells him otherwise. Whether he finishes first or last, as long as there is improvement – Curt is happy with the results.

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Hannah McLeod/The Explorer

Curt Woody, 56, works on interval training by running up a steep hill off of West Lambert Lane and North First Avenue. Woody competitively runs the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100 relay race on the local, state and national level.

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