"I've been running about 35 years," explains Romero. "When I started, I was a smoker and a little on the heavy side. I decided to change my life."
Thirty-five years. That's only HALF of Jim's life.
That's right, Jim Romero is 70 and before he hit the milestone birthday this year, he decided to do something a little crazy. Behind the nudging of a friend of course.
"A friend of mine suggested it and said 'Boy that would be a good idea' and I said 'Yeah' and right away I started thinking about it."
"It" was running 70 miles on his 70th birthday.
"I started at 2:45 in the morning in Colorado Springs," explains Jim. "I stayed there that night and my wife and family supported me in a van. I also had a group of runners that joined me along the way."
Seventy miles from the Springs to Denver, on his birthday in early April. No real underlying reason other than he thought it was a good idea.
"I'm hoping someone else will do it when they turn 70," he says with a smile. "I don't plan to do it again."
Sure. Unless he runs farther than 70 miles, like he has done in two Leadville 100s! Yes, Romero has some impressive events on his resume, including two trips up Kilimanjaro in his 60s.
"It (Kilimanjaro) was hard. It was okay for the first 17,000 feet and then the last 2,000 feet really got hard... both times," he said.
Romero hopes others will realize that it is never too late to start a healthy lifestyle. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself: Romero never thought he would run 70 on his 70th.
"No I did not at all," Romero said. "I thank God for that because I'm healthy. The only time I go to the doctor is for a physical."
By the way, it took Romero 16 hours and 45 minutes to run his 70 miles - that's a pace of 14 minutes, 21 seconds per mile.
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