Family, friends lace up sneakers for 100-year-old marathoner's birthday run

Orville Rogers is a WWII veteran, ex-pilot and author: 'I really enjoy life.'

ByENJOLI FRANCIS and ERIC NOLL
December 01, 2017, 12:04 AM

— -- A Texas man recently celebrated a century of living, surrounded by family and friends.

But before the traditional cutting of the cake and blowing out the candles, 100-year-old Orville Rogers had one, simple request: That they all celebrate the milestone by running with him.

Last Saturday, Rogers led partygoers as they collectively ran 100 miles at White Rock Lake in Dallas. Everyone wore light-blue T-shirts that bore his face on the front.

"I never would've thought I'd live long enough to have 32 people, 34 people [there]," Rogers told ABC affiliate WFAA. "How wonderful it is and how great it is to be alive."

100-year-old man skis to celebrate his centennial

PHOTO: Family and friends join Orville Rodgers for his birthday run in Dallas in Nov. 25, 2017.
Family and friends join Orville Rodgers for his birthday run in Dallas in Nov. 25, 2017.
WFAA

The former World War II veteran was a bomber pilot who later became a commercial pilot. Now a Dallas father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Rogers started running at the age of 50.

He's now a marathon runner who competes in national races and has set 13 world records. Rogers said he has a total of 43,500 miles under his belt.

"I live life with a capital 'L,'" he told WFAA.

He trains every other day and runs three times a week. And on top of all of that, he also wrote a book titled "The Running Man."

PHOTO: A photo of Orville Rogers at his Dallas home.
A photo of Orville Rogers at his Dallas home.
WFAA

Rogers said he'd experienced no joint or muscle problems, thanks to his lifestyle.

"I eat right -- most of the time," he said. "I have a wonderful and supportive family and lots of wonderful friends."

When the running ended Saturday, Rogers' family and friends, still decked out in those T-shirts, gathered around him to sing "Happy Birthday" and presented him with a cake complete with the number 100 on top.

"I really enjoy life," he said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events