Blade Runner

Old Red's 28 year old blade will be replaced this season.

The news broke early Saturday morning, reports from the Middleton Power Center leaking onto Twitter and other social media outlets, Old Red’s original 28 year old blade, from the 1985 Toro side discharge self-propelled, now turned push mower, would be retired.

Old Red, now 29 years old, the current world record holder for most lifetime career mows (1,026) could not be reached for comment. Per his usual off-season regimen, he was vacationing in Costa Rica, taking a few extra weeks because of the long winter that has just begun to exit the Upper Midwest, his home mowing locale.

With 35 mows in an up and down, yet record setting 2013 season, speculation had swirled regarding the outlook for Old Red and the rest of his career going into the 2014 mowing season. Some insiders had speculated 2013 would be his last year of mowing, fueled by rumors on TMZ that he had been posted for sale on Craig’s List, by his owner, Pat Heffling

“After a long discussion with Old Red over the phone, we’ve decided to go ahead and order a new blade for the 2014 season”, said Heffling. “This will be a custom blade specifically tailored for Old Red. We realize he is in the later stages of his career, but we felt the engine was still strong enough for another season. We will not, however, be undergoing another tune-up in 2014, it’s a karma thing with Old Red. The other factor we had to weigh was the late Spring this year, and what looks to be a shorter mowing season. Last season at this time we were already mowing twice a week, with the first mows in March. He’s rested, he’s ready. We’ll just roll the dice on how he accepts the new blade, it’s comparable to hip replacement surgery for a human. We trust the pro’s at MPC, they’ve been good to us.”

And what will become of the record breaking blade that now resides in the garage in Middleton? Owner Pat Heffling said Old Red requested it be sent to the Mowing Hall OF Fame in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Before they called he told me that’s where he wanted it to be”.

A class move by a true legend. Let the 2014 mowing season.

-Scotty Green for Mowing Weekly

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