One man’s Gatorade is another man’s scotch.
At 96 years old, Jonathan Mendes held up a nip of Scotch and toasted with his trainer, Tom Mangan, on Sunday night. And, for good reason.
Mendes had just crossed the finish line at the 2016 NYC Marathon in 11 hours, 20 minutes with Mangan and another runner serving as his guide.
You won’t find his name in the official records, however. That’s because Mendes missed the cutoff time and completed the 26.2-mile course as clean up crews were tearing down the finish line.
Still, Mendes became the oldest person to ever unofficially run the course in the race’s history. The oldest official finisher? A 91-year-old. Mendes has 11 official and five unofficial NYC Marathon’s under his belt.
According to Runner’s World, Mendes was (and still is) a certified badass.
As a bomber pilot in the Marines, Jonathon Mendes flew more than 100 missions in World War II and then more than 70 missions in the Korean War. He trained John Glenn and Ted Williams. He graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School. Now he lives in a spacious apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He still walks two miles around Central Park’s reservoir every morning at 7:30 a.m., and drinks a scotch every afternoon at 4 p.m.
In 1996, Mendes quit smoking cold turkey. Replacing his two and a half pack a day habit, he took up running at 46 years old with the help of an encouraging neighbor. And, he hasn’t looked back.
“You’ve got to have goals in life or you wither away,” he told The New York Times in 2010.
Here’s Mendes crossing the finish line on Sunday.
Cheers to you, Mendes!