Jump to navigation

Thomas Labbe

"Start out slow. If you don't like running, try walking." That's the advice of Tom Labbe, has for seniors looking for a way to feel better. At 69, Labbe is still running and working out four or five times a week. After 43 years as a high school football official, Labbe, a former Akron firefighter-medic, can keep up the pace it takes to stay on top of the game. But officiating is just part of the regimen of staying in shape and keeping his competitive edge honed for senior events. Competition is a way of staying healthy and in shape, Labbe believes. In between track events there has been more that 14 years in Senior Silver League softball. But it's track and running that keeps Labbe on the go. Covering 16 years of competition, Labbe has more than 250 awards for his senior athletic prowess, including medals won in a few grueling biathlons (run, bike, run). He's won gold in the 100-meter dash, the 200 and 400 meter runs in various age groups at the Tri-County Senior Olympics, as well as at several Ohio Senior Olympic meets and gold in the 60-meter, 100, 200, 400 and 800 in the Ohio Police and Fire Games in Toledo, setting two state records in 2001. Labbe has qualified for and competed in four national Senior Olympics, but has not yet earned a medal - the biggest disappointment of his career. The former North High runner has been a member of the Summit Athletic Club, a road running group, for more than 18 years and received the club's Jim Klett Memorial Award in 1992 in recognition for actively promoting running for all ages in the Akron area.

Inducted 2003 | Track & Field