Face of the Race: Bob Porter

Countdown to Illinois Marathon weekend

CHAMPAIGN, ILL - If walls could talk, these would be great for conversation.
“This house, it doesn't think old, you know, it thinks new, it thinks current.”
The home is considered mid-century modern, which is why it feels much younger than it is.
It’s like the man who lives here, Bob Porter.
“You really need to think old to feel old. And for some reason or another, I have no interest, at all, in thinking old.”
Even though the day we met, it was Porter's 85th birthday. But with family all over the country-he couldn't celebrate with his 4 kids or 7 grandkids.
“February is not a good time to do that if people live in Orlando or Eagle river, Wisconsin.”
But this spring, they are going the distance to celebrate his milestone birthday--with 5 kilometers.
“It's really one of those times of family getting together where everybody feels that they're a part of it. They're not a parent or child, they're running the 5K.”
The first time they made the race into a belated birthday party was for Porter's 80th, which was also less than a year after his wife's death.
“She was the true instigator of all gatherings,” he said. “This is a good way for the family to be together, and do something that is kind of special.”
There's more mid-century than modern at Porter's fitness class, which he won't even skip on his birthday, but it's a good way to break in his Velcro race sneakers.
Porter says he has a lot more miles to put on those sneakers-and plenty of time to do it.
“My mom lived to be 101, and so, I’ve got a ways to go.”


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