If you’re looking for major inspiration and motivation, meet 100-year-old runner, Mike Fremont, who is truly living life to the fullest. “I’m having the best time of my life,” Fremont reveals to PEOPLE, and he doesn’t seem to be exaggerating one bit! Keep reading to learn more about the healthy habits to live to 100, according to a runner who’s lived for more than a century and is running strong.
Mike Fremont has been running for more than a whopping 60 years. Impressively, the centenarian has four world running records, having earned world records at both 80 and 90 years old for scoring the fastest marathon times. Totally wowed? Read on to learn about Fremont’s healthy habits to live to 100, because there’s so much more to learn about this total fitness star.
Related: The Top 5 Running Habits That Slow Aging, Fitness Expert Reveals
Fremont kicked off his running journey in his 30s after enduring 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. He shares with PEOPLE, “I was very stressed when my wife left me, and I needed to do something every day to take the stress off. So usually I’d take one of my little kids, and she would hold my little finger and we’d run.” He reveals how therapeutic it was and so enjoyable, saying, “It was much better than the two martinis I used to have.”
These days, Fremont runs his favorite courses close to home, giving a salute to just about every person along his journey. Those he passes are quite familiar with the energetic 100-year-old’s routine. Fremont explains, “They’re all accustomed to me. They say, ‘I’ve seen you here for 40 years!'” We salute you, too, Mike Fremont!
Related: The Lifestyle Habits That Slow Down Aging, From a 100-Year-old Neurologist
This running star shines well beyond his own home state as well, achieving multiple records ranging from mile runs to marathons. And if you’re not already super impressed with this powerhouse, Fremont also enjoys long-distance canoeing!
Many of us can learn a great deal 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 had three months left of life. He recalls to PEOPLE, “It was a terrible, terrible thing to tell me.”
But life prevailed, and 2 1/2 years after the fatal diagnosis, surgeons took out the cancerous tumor. Fortunately, they found no signs anywhere that it metastasized. “The surgeon said that he had looked for metastasis in 35 places and found none. Zero,” Fremont says.
The extraordinary news prompted Fremont to participate in 10Ks, marathons, and everything in between. With a light weight and a smaller build, he soon discovered he was pretty decent at running and even began to win a few races!
Fremont immersed himself in the fun sport and was even motivated to follow a vegan, macrobiotic diet. According to Plant Based News, Fremont feels, “No question in my mind, absolutely, it is diet that has determined my existence. My continued existence and my beautiful health.”
This running icon is pleased to run simply for his health and enjoyment, sharing with PEOPLE, “I think I’m sensible enough not to try to run marathons at 100,” adding, “Why should I have anything to prove?”
Fremont is marathoning life in a totally different way, running for enjoyment and living a full life with his present wife, Marilyn Wall, along with five grandkids and four great-grandkids. He rang in his one-century-old birthday back in February with cake (vegan, of course!) and a Florida beach run. His best advice? If running or marathon-ing intimidates you, just give it a try as he did many years ago. Fremont also sends an invite to all, saying, “Come with me. I’ll walk with you. I’ll run with you. Whatever you want to do.”