If you’re looking for great inspiration and motivation, meet 100-year-old runner Mike Fremont, who really is living life to the fullest. “I’m having the best time of my life,” Fremont reveals PEOPLE, and it doesn’t seem like I’m exaggerating one bit! Read on to learn more about healthy habits for living to 100, according to a runner who has lived for over a century and is running strong.
Mike Fremont does more than one 60 great years. Impressively, the centenarian holds four career world records, having achieved world records in both his 80s and 90s for recording the fastest marathon times. Totally amazed? Read on to learn about Fremont’s healthy habits for living to 100, because there’s a lot more to learn about this total fitness star.
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Fremont began his running journey at age 30 after suffering the heartbreaking loss of his first wife to a brain hemorrhage. The widowed father of three (including a 2-week-old newborn) was devastated and determined. Share with PEOPLE, “I was really stressed out when my wife left me, and I needed to do something every day to relieve the stress. So I would usually take one of my little kids with me, and she’d grab my little finger and we’d run . . . He reveals how therapeutic it was and how enjoyable it was, saying, “It was so much better than the two martinis I had before.”
These days, Fremont runs his favorite courses close to home, greeting just about everyone along his journey. Those who pass by are very familiar with the routine of the energetic 100-year-old. Fremont explains, “Everybody’s used to me. They say, ‘I’ve been here for 40 years!'” Say hello to you, Mike Fremont, too!
Related: Lifestyle Habits That Slow Aging, From a 100-Year-Old Neurologist
This running star also shines far beyond his own home state, holding multiple records ranging from miles to marathons. And if you’re still not quite impressed with that power, Fremont also enjoys long-distance canoeing!
Many of us can learn a lot from Fremont’s positive attitude, zest for life, and healthy habits to live to 100. In the early 1990s, he was told he had colorectal cancer and only three months to live. He remembers PEOPLE“It was a terrible, terrible thing to say to me.”
But life prevailed, and 2 1/2 years after the fatal diagnosis, surgeons removed the cancerous tumor. Fortunately, they found no signs that it had metastasized anywhere. “The surgeon said he had looked for metastases in 35 places and found none. Zero,” says Fremont.
The extraordinary news prompted Fremont to participate in 10Ks, marathons and everything in between. With a lighter weight and smaller build, he soon found he was pretty decent at running and even started winning a few races!
Fremont immersed himself in this fun sport and even motivated himself to follow a vegan and macrobiotic diet. Seconds Plant-based newsFremont feels, “Without a doubt in my mind, absolutely, it is diet that has determined my existence. My continued existence and my beautiful health.”
This running icon takes pleasure in running simply for his health and enjoyment, sharing it PEOPLE“I think I’m sane enough not to try to run marathons at 100,” adding: “Why should I have anything to prove?”
Fremont is living life in a totally different way, running to enjoy and live a full life with his current wife, Marilyn Wall, along with five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She rang in her one-century birthday in February with a cake (vegan, of course!) and a run on the beach in Florida. His best advice? If you are intimidated by running or running marathons, try it as he did many years ago. Fremont also sends out an invitation to all saying, “Come with me. Walk with you. I’ll run with you. Whatever you want to do.”
Alexa is Eat This, Not That!’s Associate Mind + Body Editor, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling topics on fitness, wellness, and self-care. Read more about Alexa