IT’S not every day that you see a sprightly pensioner flinging himself over benches and against walls.
So it was no surprise that Basingstoke shoppers were amazed when they saw an athletic OAP performing daredevil stunts in the town centre.
However, all was not quite as it seemed as 90-year-old “Jim Cook” was actually freerunning expert Chase Armitage – a 27-year-old member of internationally-renowned group 3RUN.
The Basingstoke group returned to the town for two days to film the pensioner prank which will soon be seen on YouTube.
The 3RUN team used £5,000 of cosmetics to makeover Chase’s face, and he dressed in loose trousers, a shirt and a cardigan. The “Jim Cook” character then went round telling open-mouthed passers-by that he invented freerunning.
The group filmed “Jim” at Fitness First, in Chineham, before following him around The Malls, in Basingstoke town centre. They also filmed him practising parkour in Oakridge and Chineham Shopping Centre.
Scott Young, 3RUN member and video director, told The Gazette the 3RUN team were interested in filming the reaction of members of the public to Chase’s tricks.
The 24-year-old said: “A few elderly people bought it, and it was funny how the younger generation really fell for it as well. We filmed their reaction and they were wondering who the old guy was jumping off benches.
“It was brilliant. With other projects, clients approach us and know what they want from us. But we love doing this stuff because we have free reign on what happens.”
He added that he hoped the film would encourage people of all ages to keep exercising. The film is set to be uploaded on the LOUD YouTube channel in the next few weeks.