Ready for the run

January 16, 2009 3:43:09 PM PST
We're getting ready for the 37th annual Chevron Houston Marathon. Two of Sunday's runners will be a triple bypass survivor and his cardiologist. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

"I'm running more today than I ever have in my life," said runner Harold Jackson, 76.

His pace, his breathing and his outlook on life are all good. Jackson is a man on the move, running at least 70 miles a week and thousands over his lifetime, until one day 11 years ago when he felt out of breath.

"I thought it was lung problem, but it was a heart problem," he recalled.

The problem required a triple bypass surgery. His running stopped, but Jackson eventually laced up his running shoes again and now, he is running this weekend in his 39th Chevron Houston Marathon.

"I have lived one of the most productive wonderful lives afterwards," he said. "I mean, I feel absolutely wonderful today."

Part of Jackson's remarkable progress is thanks to his running partner and cardiologist, Dr. Akira Nishikawa from Memoiral Hermann Hospital.

"This is the first time ever that the United States is seeing a decline in longevity in both men and women and the reason for the decline is obesity," said Dr. Nishikawa.

Dr. Nishikawa is running his 53rd marathon. He says with proper training and medical check-ups, anyone can run a marathon.

"You only live once and should have a good quality of life and to have a good quality of life, you need a healthy body," he said. "It will make you have a healthy mind also. And to do that, exercise really helps and makes you feel better."

You'll hear more stories just like that this Sunday starting at 7am. We're proud to bring you live coverage of the Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston half marathon and EP 5K. We're also streaming it live here on abc13.com. We hope you'll join us and follow the progress of your friends or loved ones.

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