April’s athlete of the month is the incredible and fun-loving, 89-year-old Ron Draper!

We caught up with Ron at the Couve Clover Run and he shared his inspirational story with us, fresh off the 3-mile course.

Ron, a Korean War veteran (thank you for your service!), started his running career at age 60! Pretty incredible. From there, he:

• Did the Portland Marathon at age 61
• Hood to Coast at 62
• And he was hooked on running!

Ron says of his running addiction:
“I put my poor wife in the car every weekend to drive somewhere in the Northwest to do a run – including Canada. I’ve done over 200 runs.”

When asked how it was that he decided to start running, he jokes:
“I was a walker. I would go through the neighborhoods, and I’d see these cute girls running and I wanted to chase them.”

In what could be considered both a challenge and a victory in Ron’s fitness journey, he offers,
“I’ve had a bad knee since my 50s. When I stay active, it doesn’t hurt. When I start running or walking it quits hurting.”

Ron’s advice for runners and walkers looking to get fit:
“Just do it, that’s all there is to it. You don’t have to worry about being successful. I came in dead last in my first run, but I’ve never been last since then.”

As a phenomenal 89-year-old who is still incredibly active, he finishes off with the following word of wisdom:
“It’s paid for me to stay active and watch my diet. Take care of yourself – it’s worth it!”