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In this podcast episode we speak with Jonathan de Sola Mendes a 100 year old veteran of WW2 and the Korean War who completed the New York City Marathon at the age of 96!
Interview with Jonathan de Sola Mendes
Jonathan de Sola Mendes was born November 3rd, 1920.
As a dive bomber pilot in the Marine Corps, Jon flew over 100 missions in World War II, receiving two Air Medals for his service overseas. After graduating from Harvard Business School, he then served as a Marine Corps colonel in the Korean War, flying over 70 missions and receiving an additional 8 Air Medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross. He trained John Glenn (who became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth) and the famous baseball player Ted Williams.
His business career included working for a small manufacturing company and on Wall Street as a corporate financial consultant in mergers & acquisitions.
At the age of 46 he quit smoking and started jogging. He ran his first marathon in his 50’s. He’s the oldest person to complete the Marine Corps Marathon (at age 91) and the New York City Marathon (at age 96).
He tried four times to finish a marathon in his 90s but had to drop out due to physical challenges. In 2016 he successfully became the oldest unofficial finisher of the New York City Marathon, crossing in 11 hours and 23 minutes. See Runner’s World article on him. In total he’s run the NYC Marathon 16 times.
He’s also had a lifelong love of skiing beginning in the 1930s. He skied all over the world until he had to quit at the age of 93. He also canoed down the Yukon River in Alaska at the age of 80!
Daily exercise is one of his longevity tips and even at the age of 100 he goes for a 30 minute walk everyday. Another tip Jonathan shares is to always have a purpose in life. His purpose now at 100 is to share his story and inspire others to get off the couch and add years to their life.
Check out his book 26 Miles at 96 Years.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
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