81-year-old man set to run his first Chicago Marathon

Chicago Proud
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Marathon is this weekend and there is one person preparing to run that caught our eye.

"I have jogged and run all my life but really in not in a sense of preparing for a marathon," Max Downham said.

Downham is preparing to run in this year's Chicago Marathon for the first time at the age of 81. Yes, 81.

"It's something that I'd like to be able to do and say I've done it and I think also quite honestly I take care of myself and I believe in good health and I think this is a wonderful way to keep yourself in good shape and health," he explained.

Since May, Max and his coach have been training for the big race, and along the way, testing out a few races like Shamrock shuffle and the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

"I treated him just like my other runners. I slowly built up the mileage safely and conservatively all the way up to the 20 miler," said

What Max is proving is that no matter what age, we're never too old to be a first timer at anything," his trainer said.

For Max, it's all about taking on a new challenge and doing it for a good cause.

"Chicago Lights is a community outreach program that fills social needs and addresses social needs in the metro area so it was a wonderful coincidence and a good reason for me to do this," Downham said.

After he conquers this goal on October 8th, he's already looking ahead to what's next.

"My next goal is to run another marathon either in Chicago or somewhere else or somewhere else in the world," Downham said. "Retirement is not really in my psyche."

And he is still working. When he is not running, he's at the office. Max is the Executive Director at the International College of Surgeons.

We wish him the best of luck come race day!
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