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Snowshoeing legend, 84, keeps walking the trails

Rich Busa of Marlborough took up snowshoe racing in 1999, after years of running marathons
Rich Busa of Marlborough took up snowshoe racing in 1999, after years of running marathonsJoanne Rathe/Globe Staff

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Rich Busa, 84, is a nine-time national snowshoe racing champion and role model for younger athletes. A former road racer and ultramarathoner, Busa, who lives in Marlborough, will compete in this weekend’s US nationals in Woodford, Vt. He has no plans to retire from competitive snowshoeing, either.

“My wife asked me a long time ago, ‘When are you going to stop doing this?’ ” he said. “And I said, ‘When I don’t finish last all the time.’ ”

Why race at his age? It’s the fun of competing and the camaraderie that develops among racers of all ages and abilities, Busa said. And it’s that combination, say his fellow snowshoers and race officials, that makes Busa special to their sport, one growing in visibility and popularity.

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