WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday in the most unusual way — a 100-mile relay

December 4, 2017 12:05 pm Last Updated: December 6, 2017 1:58 pm

For many people, celebrating a birthday by running a race may not exactly be their idea of fun—especially when it’s a 100-mile relay—but for Orville Rogers, running a relay to celebrate his milestone birthday made complete sense.

Rogers, who is a World War II veteran and former pilot, chose to celebrate his 100th birthday by doing what few centenarians do: run.

When Rogers was 50 years old, he started running.

Rogers didn’t find himself interested in running until he was 50 years old, but he didn’t let his late start set him back. And according to ABC News, he also didn’t let a heart condition that led to six bypass surgeries keep him from running either.

Since he started running 50 years ago, he’s won multiple gold medals and broken a handful of records.

Rogers told WFAA that since he started running, he has run an impressive 43,500 miles. And he added a few more miles after his birthday celebration.

He didn’t start racing competitively until he was 90.

Days before he officially turned 100, 30 members of Rogers’ family sported a blue t-shirt with his face on the front and ran a total of 100 miles around White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.

While some members ran a few more miles than others, they all ran the last mile to Rogers’ former house together. Following the run, they all gathered for cake.

“We’re just amazed,” Rogers’ daughter, Susan Rogers Eveland told FOX 4. “I guess we shouldn’t be amazed, because he lives every day the same, and so why not 100? Why not 110?”

Family members gathered to celebrate Rogers’ by running a combined 100 miles.

Although Rogers has slowed down a bit—when he was 72, he ran between 75 and 80 miles a week, and now he runs under 10 miles a week—he hopes to set a record when he competes again next year. He insists he’ll stay active for as long as possible.

“I would hate to be bedridden in my last years, not being able to be up and active and enjoying my family, enjoying life,” he said.