ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An elderly Albuquerque man is about to do something to celebrate his birthday that most people half his age couldn’t think of doing.
Every snap of the helmet, every stroke of the pedal. It’s all second-nature to Larry Johnson.
Johnson has been competing in marathons, triathalons and cycling races since he was 50 years old. Now, 94 years old, the athlete has no plans to slow down.
“When I was approaching 90, my grandson said gramps you’re going to have to do 90 miles on your bike on your birthday,” said Johnson.
Johnson rode the 90 miles, plus 10 more.
“Oh, I just try to show off and do it,” he said.
For four years now, Johnson’s made the 100-mile-trek to celebrate his birthday. The Air Force vet’s story has even landed him in the New York Times.
“You just sort of hit a plateau and go and you just seem to get zoned out and keep going,” he said.
This year will be no different. A couple of weeks ahead of schedule, Johnson plans to pedal his way toward the finish line on Saturday.
“Slow and steady. That’s right,” said Johnson.
So what’s his secret to staying so fit? Johnson says he exercises six times a week and eats right. He also enjoys an occasional beer.
“I drink a beer every once in awhile,” he said.
The soon-to-be 95-year-old says it’s all about moderation and from the looks of his nearly 400 medals, he’s right.
Johnson will ride the 100 miles on an indoor bike on Saturday at Defined Fitness. The gym is hosting what’s called the Century Ride in his honor.
Johnson has run in more than 20 marathons, including the Boston marathon in the 1980’s. This summer he will compete in the national senior Olympics in cycling.