Zola Budd‘s still got it.
The two-time Olympian famous for colliding with Mary Decker at the 1984 Olympics turned up at the HBCU Challenge 5K in Cary, N.C., on Saturday.
Budd raced women half her age and beat all 106 college runners by 50 seconds. She clocked 17 minutes, 47 seconds. Here’s a video clip of Budd around the halfway mark.
She did not run barefoot, as she did at the 1984 Olympics. Budd once held the world record on the track in the 5,000 meters of 14:48.07.
“I haven’t been running under 18 minutes for quite a while,” Budd said in a video interview. “I’m pleased.”
Budd, who finished seventh in the 1984 Olympic 3,000 after colliding with Decker, said she’s been running marathons and ultra marathons in her native South Africa. She reportedly completed the 34.8-mile Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in 8:06.09 last year.
Her time Saturday actually would have beaten one runner in the qualifying rounds of the 5,000 at the World Championships in Moscow in August, though it’s two minutes slower than the B standard to qualify for worlds.
Budd said she has been living in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for about five years since she moved from South Africa. She runs an elementary and middle school running program in Myrtle Beach and still does clinics in South Africa.
She was asked her advice for younger runners.
“Running is just a part of your life, not your (whole) life” Budd said. “Whatever happens, it’s fine. Just go along with the flow. Take the bad runs with the good runs. Make an experience of it. Don’t be too goal-oriented.”
Budd’s daughter, Lisa Pieterse, is dominating high school competitions.