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Mary runs Penn relays.

Brandywine Living at Voorhees was more than elated when their very own resident, Mary Van Sciver, a spunky 89-year-old woman, expressed interest in running the 100M dash in the Penn relays back in April.

The challenge was on!  Mary prepped and practiced to make her time as good as it could be.  In this month’s highlight, we chronicle Mary’s journey from training day to the actual race.


“Mary had her first track session today at Eastern High School, home of the Vikings. Suns out guns out!”



“Watch out Usain Bolt! Bird is about to take flight.  Bird is a family nickname. Her son once ran into the house and yelled for mama bird and the name stuck ever since.”



“We met Eastern’s Athletic Director and the Girls Spring Track hurdles coach today on the track. It was nice, they wished Mary good luck :)”



“We picked up Mary’s ticket today at UPenn. The air was filled with electricity! Mary was recognized by one of the men at the check-in table. He said, “I read about you in the paper!” So cool! When we checked in we were told to be ready by 2:55 not 3:00 pm because her race is going to be televised and they will be doing introductions!!  So exciting!  Also- I SHOULD be able to stay with her all the way to her getting into her lane on the track. Also very exciting for me! And safety wise, a plus!

While checking in she told a woman “It’s not a race tomorrow it’s a celebration of fitness.” (I think I brainwashed her lol!)

After we checked in, we were alone in the elevator and she looks at me and exclaims, “What an experience!” with the biggest smile on her face. (this is what it’s all about!) 🙂

We then walked to the car and on our way back she says to me, “Wow.  Can’t believe it would take me 89 years to do something exciting. This is something else.”

Tomorrow’s the big day!”



“Wow.  I’m home on the couch exhausted but I still have a smile on my face.  What an INCREDIBLE day.  We have so many pictures and videos. I’m going to make an iMovie of our entire Penn Relay experience. Here are a few from today.

Key points:
– After the race, Mary said she hoped she inspired people to run.
– She has already started talking about next year when she goes back…
– She was disappointed in her time aka she’s a true competitive Viking. I kept reminding her that the hot weather slowed down everyone’s time and we were here to celebrate fitness.
– After the race when we were headed to the car MANY people came up to congratulate her.
– When we arrived back to the building the whole crew was waiting at the front door with signs and playing “We are the champions”

So much love. Today was a good day.”

It was great day!!