Grandparents secretly train for 5K, surprise entire family
(WGN) -- Once in a while you meet someone who inspires us to do more. If you've been looking for a little motivation to get off the couch, look no further than Allan and Ruth Willman of Montgomery, Illinois.
Happily married for 58 years, the Willmans routine was pretty simple: Daily news and soap operas, grapes for lunch and a nap by 3 p.m.
Then one day they got to thinking.
Flipping through their children's pictures, it occurred to them, all of their four children and 11 grandchildren were good athletes.
And then Ruth got a bright idea when she saw a signup sheet for a local 5K race.
"Let's enter it," she said. "It's grandma and grandpa's time to shine, right?"
That afternoon they laced up their shoes and made a plan to prove that grandma and grandpa have still got it.
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For weeks, Ruth and Alan secretly worked out. They stretched, lifted weights and put in the miles right up to race day when they called their kids and told them to bring their cameras to the finish line.
"They couldn't believe we done it at our age and I said, 'Come on now, we're not that old,'" Allan says.
In fact, Ruth and Allan came in first and second place in their age group.
Tickled with themselves, the Williams paraded those medals all over town.
"We bragged to everybody."
But in the journey to prove to their family that it's never too late for firsts or surprises, Ruth and Alan surprised themselves.
It was a simple plan that became something bigger.
Allan has been battling Parkinson's for more than a year and just a few weeks ago, he had a minor heart procedure. Despite all that, both Allan and Ruth say they are planning on signing up for a couple more races this next year.