M55 Arnie Pollinger of Holliston, Massachusetts, is a rare bird — he runs roads and sprints. Recently, he wrote me: “I realize my running and jumping might not be noteworthy except for the fact that I am doing all this with an artificial hip.” His surgery was in April 2012, and he’s run dozens of distance races since this list began in 1997. He’s also prolific in the 60, 100 and 200 — and long jump. New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery posted a great profile of his case. “My hope is that other masters runners with degenerative hip arthritis who have been told they will never run again will read my story and realize there is a viable alternative out there,” he says. So I dug for more info, and he graciously responded.
Masterstrack.com: If you hadn’t had hip resurfacing, what would you be capable of now?
Arnie Pollinger: In lieu of hip resurfacing, I’d have had a total hip replacement. So I imagine I’d be on some kind of anti-depressant since I would no longer be able to run. I’m sure I’d be much fatter and probably would drink a lot more. I’ve been running my entire life (my mom told me I could run before I could walk).
So without being able to run, a huge part of my life would be torn away. I would try and keep active — I do think you can still ski with a total hip replacement, so I’d still do that. I love playing ice hockey — not sure if I’d still be able to do that. I guess I would do a lot more hiking. I don’t like to swim, but I imagine I would do lots of mountain biking…