Never too old in Tahoe Truckee: Nancy Gough finishes Big Sur International 5K |

Never too old in Tahoe Truckee: Nancy Gough finishes Big Sur International 5K

Amy Edgett/Sierra Sun

Eighty-six-year old Nancy Gough was told by her doctor she could and#8220;absolutely notand#8221; go sky diving. A disappointment for a woman who at 84 learned to downhill ski. Who went whitewater rafting, water-skied and hiked four miles at 10,000 feet on Coloradoand#8217;s Pikeand#8217;s Peak in her 80s. However, she did acheive her intended crowning glory with a first place finish at the April 25, 2010 Big Sur International 5K.

and#8220;and#8217;Iand#8217;ve always been active,and#8221; said Gough of her longtime Santa Cruz mountain life. She and her husband owned five acres, where they built their own home with timber felled from the property, carried spring water and chopped wood for winter warmth. Gough commuted on a one-lane dirt road, at times perilous with mudslides, to her job in San Jose with IBM. After her husbandand#8217;s death 10 years ago, Gough moved to Tahoe Donner to live with daughter Sandy Ketter and son-in-law John Ketter.

Sandy describes growing up as the and#8220;mountain kidsand#8221; and attributes Goughand#8217;s recent accomplishment to an active life and a titch of attitude. Like carrying her own skis at 84. And the willingness to try new things.

Gough and John Ketter cheered on the sidelines for Sandy at several Big Sur Internationals. Gough then walked the Big Sur International 5K in 2009 and placed second. She was determined to take first in 2010, but it looked doubtful a week before the race. She pulled a ligament in her hip while throwing a rug down for one of three family dogs. Gough said and#8220;no wayand#8221; to physical therapy, headed to Big Sur and took a long walk in the sand. and#8220;Once I got on that sand, I knew I was OK. I was just skipping!and#8221; she said.

On race day, Gough was sure of herself and managed the hilly terrain around Carmel and Point Lobos with two walking sticks and determination, the lone competitor in the 85-90 division.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Gough is signed up for the Tahoe Forest Health Systemand#8217;s Fitness Forever, learned how to arrange Dial-a-Ride, is taking pottery classes and will go with Sierra Senior Services on the free medical van trips to Reno. Additionally, she will volunteer at Tahoe Forest Hospital and with Mavis Bowes of Truckee Tahoe Republican Women, do yard work and still help with hauling wood. and#8220;At 86, it kinda puts you to shame,and#8221; said Sandy Ketter.

Look for Nancy Gough and family in her late husbandand#8217;s restored 1940 Packard at the Optimist Cannibal Cruise July 9-11.

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