93-year-old man to run ING NYC Marathon for 13th time

Josh Einiger has the inspiring story.
November 2, 2013 9:10:53 PM PDT
Of the tens of thousands of people who plan to run the Marathon Sunday, Jon Mendes will be leading the pack.

"I'm 93, I'm so fortunate to be in good health," says Mendes.

Mendes is the oldest person to run the race, and he will be running it for the 13th time.

"People ask me from time to time what do I attribute my good health and longevity, and I say, 'oh it's very simple, a quart of whiskey a day, and a good woman named Irene. In reverse order."

Mendes has been getting ready since April, walking around the Central Park reservoir with his grandson, Daniel, who will join him for all 26 miles.

"He understands what he is capable of, what his limits are," says Mendes' trainer, Tom Mangan, "every runner has a goal for their time running the marathon, but Jon's is really quite simple. When he passes under the finish line, he'd be happy it's still daylight."

It took Mendes just over eight hours in 2010 ? that was his 12th New York Marathon. Superstorm Sandy stopped Mendes last year, but he and Daniel are back today.

"We're running together, but I really follow him the whole way," says Daniel.