Julian Meyers, an 87-year-old Marina del Rey resident, completed the Los Angeles Marathon last week — second-oldest this year to complete the 26-mile race.
Meyers was upset with his time — it took him more than 16 hours to complete the race.
But these days, the marathons Meyers runs are not about winning, but rather finishing the race.
Meyers called his marathon time terrible, “but the important thing is that I finished.”
Meyers, who has competed in 20 marathons and many distance races internationally, says one of the reasons he continues to participate in marathons is because “it makes me look good in my wife’s eyes.”
He began running marathons about 25 years ago when he was going through a divorce with his first wife.
“That was a traumatic time for me,” he says. “I couldn’t see my children.
“I found that running was a great way to deal with all the stress I was experiencing.
“I have been running ever since.”
Meyers has participated in 12 Los Angeles Marathons.
He has also run the New York City Marathon, the Hawaii Marathon, a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, and one in Athens, Greece.
Meyers, who does not regularly visit a medical doctor, believes he will live at least another 14 years, which would make him 101 years old.
“I plan on running in the LA Marathon until I am 100.
“I have to live another 14 years,” he says.
Meyers keeps busy for an 87-year-old man.
“I run three miles every day, except Sundays.”
On Sundays, Meyers joins a group of runners called the Roadrunners who train almost year-round for the annual Los Angeles Marathon.
In addition to exercise, Meyers still remains active in his lifelong career of public relations, but says he has only two clients.
“I have not considered retiring,” says Meyers. “I only have two clients because I need to devote much of my time to spreading the word about AmigoDay.”
AmigoDay is a concept Meyers launched about a year ago in which on the first Sunday of every month he practices — and encourages people throughout the world to practice — performing random acts of kindness on a friend, acquaintance, or stranger.
He says that he believes the ideals his mother instilled in him at a young age, are the foundation for his AmigoDay.
“She told me never to judge a person,” says Meyers.
As for the reasoning behind the name of the holiday — AmigoDay — he says that throughout Los Angeles, he always hears, “Hey amigo.”
“There is an extra warmth and feeling with the word amigo,” says Meyers. “It just sounds warmer than ‘friend’.”
“My goal is that in 14 years, AmigoDay is as well-known as Mother’s Day,” says Meyers.
Meyers says there are no rigid rules as to how one should celebrate his proposed holiday. However, he suggests, “Send a greeting card, send an invitation, send a gift, do something together.”
“AmigoDay is your day,” says Meyers. “You will live it in the way you wish. It will enrich your life and the lives of others.
“Perhaps you’d like to send a loving thought. A heartwarming ‘Hello, it’s AmigoDay.'”
He emphasizes that AmigoDay is not a charity and he has not accepted and will not accept monetary contributions for the promotion of AmigoDay.
But he says he does intend AmigoDay to be pursued by corporations, interested in branding a product or campaign with the AmigoDay concept.
“Mother’s Day and Father’s Day give us opportunities each year to tell our parents how we feel. AmigoDay, in the same tradition, gives everyone in the world an occasion to embrace new and old friends.”
Meyers says his secret to remaining physically fit and full of ambition at the age of 87, “is simple.”
“You have to find something — a goal of some kind — that will take at least 15 years to attain,” he says.
Meyers says his wife is “enthusiastically assisting me in devoting 40 percent of the rest of my life to making AmigoDay as meaningful as Mother’s Day.
“I have to live till 100, that is the only way AmigoDay will become what I have imagined it can be.”
AmigoDay information: http://www.AmigoDay.org