Dixon Hemphill logged onto his Facebook account last week to find dozens of notifications. Some were comments from friends but many more were from users Hemphill didn’t recognize. They all wanted Hemphill to know that they were in awe of the viral video of his 60-meter race at the USA Track and Field masters indoor championships, where Hemphill, 92, was narrowly defeated by 99-year-old Orville Rogers by 0.05 seconds.
“I didn’t expect the attention I got,” Hemphill said Monday in a phone interview. “I didn’t know I had that many friends. . . . There were some very nice comments.”
Hemphill competed in five events over the course of three days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was the only runner in the men’s 90 to 94 age group, but it was the thrilling head-to-head race against Rogers on Feb. 18 that reached beyond the insular community of masters track and field.
In …