Go to contents

Healthy 72-year-old Man Runs 20km Every Day

Posted February. 17, 2005 22:51,   


Mr. Suk Byung-whan (the 100th Marathon Club), aged 72, is not satisfied unless he runs 20 km a day. Even elite marathon runners in their 20s and 30s find it exhausting to run 10 km every day. What’s more, he runs a full marathon course of 42.195km every weekend, making a total of more than 150km per week.

He is now challenging his 111st full marathon in the 76th Dong-A Marathon (or 2005 Seoul International Marathon) on March 13. Starting in early 1999 when he was 66 years old, it has been a superb achievement in these six years. He can’t bear all that. “Nonsense. My body is still young. I can’t stand sitting still.”

He even ran a full course during one weekend, and on the next day, he completed 18km in the morning and 12km in the afternoon. These days, regardless of rain or snow, he keeps himself healthy by running 10km both in the morning and at night. He has not seen a doctor since he started running marathons, which is a panacea for him.

“It wasn’t easy at first. I did mountain climbing after I had an operation on my ruptured disk. But one day my brother, who runs marathons, encouraged me to do it. It was exhausting. The first three years were like hell.”

He had a good time of three hours 44 minutes and 27 seconds in his first marathon in March 1999. In 2000, he set his personal record of three hours 29 minutes and 16 seconds in the 2000 Dong-A Seoul International Marathon. However, as he was no loner obsessed about the time, he became happier.

“It’s quite strange. At first I started running for health reasons, and now it’s getting more interesting. You know how marathoners say, ‘Running high.’ So I ran every day. Now I can’t live without it.”

Mr. Suk slowly runs a full course within three hours and 40-50 minutes, enjoying it extremely these days. He runs two marathons every weekend, in addition to another five every month, but it does nothing harm to his health; he enjoys running.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com