Abigail Perales of Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, began competing as a runner in the mid-1970s when he joined a running club with his employer at the time, the steel corporation SIDOR. In 1983, he was part of a team of seven SIDOR runners who traveled to the United States to participate in the New York City Marathon. Now 77, Perales has returned to complete the race every year since, and on November 6 he’ll line up to run for the 33rd time.
Perales has also run marathons in Chicago, Luxor, Tokyo, and Caracas, as well as the Jerusalem Half-Marathon. He claims to have covered over 34,000 miles in training and racing. Through his years of running, Perales says he’s been grateful for his community back home and for the “opportunities to know and speak with people of many countries around the world.”
He believes that training every year for the TCS New York City Marathon has helped him maintain a good diet and stay fit. “Today I am healthy,” he says. “In my opinion, it’s because of running! Since I have been doing it for more than 60 years, it has helped me maintain my physical and mental health.”
He adds in his mother tongue, Spanish: “Eso forma parte de la calidad de vida” (“That forms part of the quality of life”).
Perales has no intention of stopping. “I think I will live with excellent health until I am 90 at least,” he says.
By Kent Hamlin
GET YOUR STORIES ON. Read more inspiring stories from runners chronicling their journeys to the TCS New York City Marathon starting line.
TUNE IN. The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 6, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tri-state area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.