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.'

ByABC News
December 1, 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."

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

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."

A photo of Orville Rogers at his Dallas home.

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.