Even at 82 years old and after getting both his knees replaced, Jim Davis is undeterred from participating in the 38th annual Los Angeles Marathon, which he has run in since the event’s inception in 1986.
The Sylmar resident is looking forward to the Marathon on Sunday, March 19. Davis has participated in every single Marathon since its beginning almost four decades ago. Although there isn’t an official club for legacy runners who have been in every event since the beginning, Davis is happy to be part of such a group.
“Last year [in 2022], when we did it, they said there’s 107 of us that have done them all since 1986,” Davis said. “And it’s a challenge to be able to stay in it because [I’m] getting older, you know.”
Part of that challenge is the fact he can’t run anymore. Davis has two bionic knees which he can’t run with, otherwise he risks damaging them and would result in another painful knee surgery to get them replaced.
Still, Davis doesn’t let that keep him down. He keeps in shape by taking long walks around the neighborhood and on hiking trails: six miles on Monday, between three to four miles from Tuesday to Thursday, 10 miles on Friday and four miles on Saturday.
“Running was the one thing that I was good at,” Davis said. “It was like my gift from God and I enjoyed it. I’ve had some really good times with what I used to do. [But] I have a good time now, you know, walking without any pain.”
Although he can’t move as fluidly as before, he enjoys his hikes, especially when he starts early in the morning before the sun comes up and he gets to watch the sun rise over the mountains.
The rainstorms that have battered the West Coast on and off this year have impacted his training schedule, however, as he’s had to take some time off when it rained heavily. He recalled one time getting caught in a thunderstorm and came home looking like he had just jumped into a swimming pool.
Davis still enjoys walking in the rain, though, and will take any opportunity he can to keep his body moving. He said that he doesn’t ever see himself not being active.
“I don’t anticipate it. I don’t even think about it because I keep moving.”
Davis plans on walking through the marathon in under seven hours, just as he did last year with a time of 6:56.
“I plan to do better this year than I’ve done [before].”