How a 46-Year-Old Marathon Runner Keeps Getting Faster | NYT Opinion


This is Memo. Memo runs far, and
Memo runs fast. And somehow, he gets
faster with age. “Surprise for me too.” Today, Memo is one of the top
10 runners in the world for his age group. He’s also a porter
in an apartment building in Queens, New York. We’ll come back to that
later. Memo believes in three things: Hard
work, never giving up, and — Fine. Two things. The American fitness industry
is worth over $30 billion a year. That’s a lot of fancy
gear and gym memberships. But Memo doesn’t
believe in gadgets. This is Memo’s heart monitor. This is Memo’s gym. This is Memo’s nutrition plan. And this is Memo’s locker. Memo doesn’t believe in
swanky gyms or boutique-y yoga studios. He doesn’t believe
in self-promotion, even though there would
be a lot to promote. You know what
Memo really believes in? Memo believes in running. In Santa Ana Cotapec,
where Memo grew up, he was an average runner
on a pretty average team. And Memo lived a
pretty average life for a kid in that town. Memo crossed the border
illegally at age 15. He did find work in America, in a kitchen and as a bike messenger. And he ran his first marathon
in 1995. A year later, he was arrested
and sent to jail. In 2005, Memo
passed his citizenship test and became an
American citizen. By 2019, he became a top-10 runner globally in his age group and the second-fastest American
in his age group. Now Memo works in Rego
Park as a porter. “I made those signs. “Memo took them
down one by one. “He doesn’t like to advertise
how great of a runner he is.” On November 3rd, Memo
will take the day off to run the New
York City Marathon. He’s on track to run
faster than ever. Memo reminds us that we’re
being sold and packaged something that’s free. Achievement doesn’t come from
a sports brand or the latest high-tech gizmo. Just ask Memo. He believes in just
three — “Two!” Right, two things. That’s the Memo method.

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