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Who wants to live forever? Well, I do! And who better to learn from than those who’ve seen decades upon decades pass by and yet still continue to enjoy each and every day to its fullest.

Today we look at the incredible Mike Fremont, who at the age of 100 continues to jog along his favorite routes near his home. From exercise to a strict vegan diet, as well as a philosophy of service rather than material gain, we look at all the ways we can encourage our bodies and souls to continue running at their prime potential.

Before we dive head first into the details, I’d like to encourage you, dear Pandas, to share your own tips and tricks for staying active and positive, especially as the present day is quite dreary. Don’t forget to upvote and follow the author as well. Now let’s go!

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    Mike Fremont has become a running legend both in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the world, holding multiple records at the wonderful age of 100

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    Image credits: NBC News

    The sun shines, the birds chirp, a faint fresh breeze in the air, and the soft scruff of feet hitting the pavement echoing throughout the space. Life is good. Especially when you’re a 100-year-old record-breaking living running legend, named Mike Fremont.

    Neighbors have become accustomed to seeing Mike running down the same path near his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, greeting everyone he passes, human or pet. He’s been running the same path for over 4 decades, seeing familiar faces age and generations move in and move on. “They’re all accustomed to me,” he told PEOPLE. “They say, ‘I’ve seen you here for 40 years!’”

    He’s been running the same path close to his home for over 4 decades, noting the changes in generations of people and their pets, greeting them all

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    Image credits: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

    But his accomplishments span far and wide outside of Cincinnati, as Mike holds multiple single-age world running records in everything from the mile to the marathon.

    Thing is, he’s not even considering stopping, as he believes that in his centenarian age people should start speeding up rather than slowing down.

    Mike started running in his 30s after his first wife’s sudden death, leaving him to care for their 3 young children and a new business

    Image credits: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

    Mike has been running since his 30s, yet he came to the sport after a big tragedy hit his young family. His 29-year-old wife died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage, leaving the man grieving with three young children, the youngest being only 2 weeks old, and a new business he’d started.

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    “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 said. “I enjoyed it and I thought it was good for me.”

    So he came to a decision in 1958: running near where he lived would be a better bet at coping with stress than having a couple of martinis before dinner.

    He took up running as a means of keeping his stress levels down, as well as a playful activity to share with his growing children

    Image credits: Rich Roll

    And so began his running journey, as well as his interest in long-distance canoeing, both of which became key parts of Mike’s life. Although he was running extensive miles, he didn’t start competitively racing until after 1992, when he was hit with another piece of news.

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    Mike told Rich Roll, ultra-endurance athlete, author and podcaster, that at 69 years old, doctors noticed a polyp in his “nether region” during a checkup and sent him to a specialist for a closer examination. They concluded that Mike had colorectal cancer. They gave him 3 months to live if they did nothing.

    In 1992 Mike was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the doctors giving him 3 months to live. Thankfully, he beat the deadline, for which he credits a vegan diet

    Image credits: harveylewisultrarunner

    “It was a terrible, terrible thing to tell me,” he recalled, but, if anything, it inspired him to find a means out of the difficult situation. He told Rich that his son had given him a special cookbook by Michio Kushi, called the Cancer Prevention Diet, which focuses on a macrobiotic approach to food, and he decided to follow its instructions.

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    This led him to take up a strict vegan diet, with no exceptions. Mike credits this diet for his extended life, allowing him to live beyond the three-month deadline. Two and a half years later, physicians removed the cancerous tumor. They were shocked to find there was no spread of the disease. “The surgeon said that he had looked for metastasis in 35 places and found none. Zero.”

    Image credits: harveylewisultrarunner

    Two years later the tumor was removed and Mike, with a new lease on life, decided to give competitive running a shot. Soon, the wins started coming

    Image credits: Maggie_Vespa

    Inspired by this new lease on life, Mike decided to sign up for races—anything from 10Ks to marathons. “I found that I wasn’t too bad at running. I didn’t weigh too much, and I was small. It helped,” Mike told PEOPLE. “Then I began to win some races, and the pressure was on.”

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    The centenarian now holds an astounding five titles: world records for the fastest marathon time at age 80 and again at age 90; the fastest half-marathon time at age 90 and 91; and the U.S. record for the fastest mile by a 96-year-old. “I took 53 seconds off the one-mile race record,” he said proudly. “I was very pleased.”

    Mike holds 2 world records for the fastest marathon time aged 80 and 90, the fastest half-marathon time aged 90 and 91; and the U.S. record for the fastest mile at 96

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    Image credits: harveylewisultrarunner

    Today, Mike is happy to continue running close to his home and isn’t planning on creating or taking down any other world records. “I think I’m sensible enough not to try to run marathons at 100,” he said, before adding with a smile: “Why should I have anything to prove?”

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    His second wife of 29 years, Marilyn Wall, who is 69 herself, seems to be incredibly proud of her husband and all of his accomplishments. They’re enjoying their lives together, as well as their five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. On his 100th birthday back on February 23, they celebrated with a vegan cake and a run along the ocean in Vero Beach, Florida.

    Image credits: harveylewisultrarunner

    Now, at 100, Mike is just happy to run 5 miles 3 days a week and enjoy time with his second wife Marilyn, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren

    Image credits: harveylewisultrarunner

    “I’m having the best time of my life,” Mike said. “It’s incredibly wonderful to be able to do this stuff at this age, I can’t tell you the fun I get out of it.” The secret to a long and meaningful life seems to be a good diet, stress avoidance, and finding purpose.

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    For anyone daunted by exercise or training for marathons, Mike encourages all to just give it a try and get moving, as one can’t be uptight after running: it makes you feel good and relaxed, as well as making you healthier and better-looking. “Come with me. I’ll walk with you. I’ll run with you. Whatever you want to do.” What a legend!

    We wish the family nothing but the best and can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of them!

    Image credits: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

    As he told Rich Roll, “I’m at least 22 years older than the average person that dies in America, and I feel that’s not long enough yet.”

    We wish Mike and his family all the best and hope that we’ll see many more of his adventures in the future. Let us know your thoughts and opinions on this story. Don’t forget to upvote, and I shall see you in the next one!

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    People have been incredibly inspired by Mike and his life achievements. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to upvote!

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