Las Vegas Sun

December 18, 2014

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LAS VEGAS MARATHON:

90-year-old marathoner brings endurance, sense of humor to race

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Amanda Finnegan

Julian Myers, 90, poses by the finish line shortly after he completed and recuperated from the Las Vegas half marathon Sunday. Myers finished in 5 hours and 35 minutes and was the oldest runner in this year’s race.

A Morning Marathon

The Las Vegas Marathon took place Sunday, Dec. 7. The marathon featured 15,000 runners, including 178 Elvis Impersonators, 47 couples who got married during the race, a 90-year-old participant and a man competing in his 103rd marathon of the year.

Las Vegas Marathon

One of more than 15,000 runners stretches on the way to the starting line of the 2008 Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 2008. Launch slideshow »

It’s going to take something miraculous to slow 90-year-old Julian Myers down.

The 86-year Los Angeles resident still operates his own public relations firm, teaches courses at both UCLA and Loyola Marymount, keeps up with 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren and has a little hobby on the side — marathon running.

Myers finished his fourth Las Vegas race today, completing the half marathon in 5 hours and 35 minutes, coming in as the oldest runner in this year’s race.

“It was a piece a cake. I knew that my beautiful wife was waiting at the end, so I had inspiration,” Myers said of his wife Patsy of 38 years.

Myers would have run the full marathon, but he said the official finish line would have been gone by the time he reached the end.

His speed has fallen off. Myers finished the full marathon last year in 16 hours.

“Terry Collier, the race director, was kind enough to say they would keep it open but after 10 hours, my wife told them to close it down,” Myers said.

“I think I won for the old geezers,” he joked. Myers has won the 85-plus age group for the past four years.

Myers has been running for more than 38 years. After a divorce from his first wife, Myers said he found running as a way to cope.

“I was kind of lost. I couldn't see my kids very often and to get a hold on myself, I started running a few miles every morning. And for the past 38 years I’ve been running as best I can,” Myers said.

Since then, Myers has run more than 25 marathons around the world, including ones in Beirut and Athens.

He sticks to a strict training schedule — three miles a day and usually more on the weekends. He’ll be hitting the pavement again first thing Monday morning.

“I’m so proud of him. I think it’s wonderful he can still do it. He runs his business and teaches his classes…he’s the Energizer bunny,” his wife, Patsy, said.

Myers said this was his first year running without a 20-person cheering squad. This year, longtime friend and client David Bowman ran alongside Myers to keep him focused.

“I keep his eye on the road and off of all the pretty ladies,” Bowman said.

And how does a 90-year-old man feel after a 13.1 mile run? “I feel perfect!” Myers said.

Myers said he’s been very lucky with his health: No heart conditions, no medications, no doctors and no vitamins.

“I wouldn’t be alive without Patsy. She keeps me in good shape, she feeds me well and she won’t let my pants slip so low that I won’t look good,” he laughed.

As for when he plans to quit running, probably never, Myers said.

“I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

With 90-plus years of life experience, Myers may have some good advice for us all.

“I think anyone can live 100 years or more if they just find a goal they want to achieve,” Myers said. “That’s what has gotten me through all my days and I don’t think I know anyone happier than me.”

Myers will be 91 on Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday.

“He and I were good friends,” Myers joked.

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