Jonathan Mendes, 96, didn’t let the New York City Marathon get in the way of his daily shot of Scotch on Nov. 6.
“I’ve been saying for years that the key to living this long is a shot of whisky a day and a good woman, in that order,” Mendes told Kit Fox, a reporter at Runner’s World. In his pocket, he had three nips of Johnnie Walker Black Label in a brown bag. Each had been there for the 11 hours and 20 minutes it took him to complete the 26-mile marathon.
He got onto a bed in a medical tent after finishing the race and pulled out his Scotch rather than take the water offered by a volunteer medical assistant. Respect.
Fox dug a little into Mendes’ past, and found an impressive resume: 100-plus missions as a Marines bomber pilot in World War II, 70-plus missions in the Korean War, 16 New York City Marathons, and degrees from both Dartmouth and Harvard Business School. His schedule for healthy living is a daily two-mile walk at 7:30 a.m. and a Scotch at 4 p.m.
Mendes isn’t the only one to drink alcohol after his race. Earlier on Nov. 6, as younger runners finished at their own, faster, pace, I watched them filter into restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for a cold one. A man in a marathon blanket walked into Riposo 72 — legs straddled like he just got off a horse — and sat next to where I was eating lunch. He ordered a craft beer and a dessert wine. Before I left about 15 minutes later, he’d already downed the first beer and ordered another. Alcohol and excersize really do go together.
At 96 years old, Mendes is hardly the first aging person to swear by alcohol. Mariano “Pops” Rotelli had a shot of whiskey in his coffee every morning for 100 years, and he recently celebrated his 107th birthday. Antonio Docampo García downed two bottles of wine for lunch and made it to 107, Mildred Bowers passed 103 while having a beer, and Nancy Lamperti swore by wine.
All that exercise can’t be hurting Mendes either, though, so don’t just settle for the Scotch.
h/t: Runner’s World