Bill Andberg was a teenager before he paused long enough to
notice that most people walked, not ran, through daily life. He's
almost 93 now, and he still can't sit still.

   At Tuesday's annual Anoka County Health Walk, Andberg will speak
to employees and county commissioners. But his message - the
importance of physical activity at any age - is clear to anyone
with eyes and ears.

   "I'm a survivor," he said. "I'm still above ground."

   Two strokes have slowed him down a bit since he set more than 30
national and world running records between the ages of 50 and 90.
But they haven't stopped him. The retired veterinarian continues to
walk at least 3 miles every day, golfs three times a week in summer
and bowls in three leagues during the winter.

   An athlete in high school and college, Andberg found in adulthood
that golf, hunting and fishing weren't enough to keep an unwanted
20 pounds off his 5-foot, 7-inch frame. At 55, he took up running.
At 60, the Marathon Handbook named him the fastest man his age in
the world. Since then, he has been inducted into the USA Track &
Field Masters Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Track & Field Hall of
Fame and the University of New Hampshire Athletics Hall of Fame.

   He has also been a top-level competitor in masters' cross-country
skiing.

   His training runs through a cemetery became the inspiration for
the annual Anoka Halloween Gray Ghost 5K race, in which he holds
the record for runners 80 and older.

   At age 64, he turned in a 5:18.8-minute mile at a Minnesota race,
setting a state record that remained unbeaten for 23 years. At 65,
he set a masters' world record of 4:59 for the mile at a national
meet in Los Angeles, where he also established a world record 5K
time of 18:33. During one European masters tour, he ran 11 races in
23 days, winning 10 of them.

   He's also run 35 marathons, even though he never liked them much.

   "Dick Beardsley says he can remember every mile," Andberg said "I
can only remember when I started, when I finished and when I
vomited."

   The health walk starts at noon in the lobby of the Anoka County
Government Center at 2100 3rd Av. in Anoka. The walk, which is open
to the public, is part of an awareness campaign started by the
Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services Department
to encourage healthful lifestyles. Participants have a choice of
three routes from one-half to 1 1/2 miles in length.

   Andberg hasn't decided which route he'll take Tuesday; he's
focusing on how to celebrate his 93rd birthday on June 8. It's his
custom to spend the day participating in his favorite physical
activities. He's figuring it will be similar to last year's
celebration, when he played 18 holes of golf (without a cart),
bowled 11 games and walked 3 miles. He plans to get out to the golf
course early, before it gets crowded.

   "I don't want the other golfers to slow me down," he said.

   .

   Darlene Prois is at dprois@startribune.com.

   .

   LIFESTYLE TIPS

   Keeping his youth

   Nearing 93, retired veterinarian William Andberg has found a few
keys to feeling young:

   - Keep 'em laughing: He always has a joke to share, and often the
joke's on him.

   - Keep moving: He often doesn't decide what he's going to do
until he gets out the door, but he always gets out and does
something.

   - Keep flexible: He starts his day with some simple stretches
while still in bed. Throughout the day, he does isometrics and yoga
to keep his joints flexible.

   - Keep learning: He reads the newspaper and does the crossword
daily. There's always something to learn, he believes.

   - Keep up relationships: His scheduled activities -three bowling
leagues in winter, two golf leagues in summer - combine physical
activity with friendships. A widower, he sees his four children and
their families often.

   - Keep adapting: When strokes impaired his balance, he
substituted a stationary bike for his outdoor bike, and walking for
running. When age affected his depth perception, he stopped
driving. Now he walks to the grocery and drugstore and has set up a
network of friends and family to help.