Top of the Morning, April 21, 2019

Top of the Morning, April 21, 2019

His golf scores and race times aren't getting any better, but that hasn't diminished Don Pratt's enthusiasm toward sports one bit.

"At my age, you have to be active," he said.

Perhaps you've seen Pratt jogging Monticello's tree-lined streets. The 86-year-old still puts in 15-20 miles per week — when he isn't lifting weights and playing golf.

Running long distances became a hobby in 1968, when he volunteered to help his son, John, train for a school cross-country team. Soon enough, he was running marathons in Boston, Chicago and St. Louis.

At next weekend's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign and Urbana, he will be the oldest participant.

"I'm mostly the oldest person anywhere I run," he said.

Don will jog Friday's 5K with a wife, three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren cheering him on from all parts of the country.

Afterward, he'll bypass the bars of Green Street for a warm shower at home.

"Maybe when I was younger," he said.

Don said he's put in a Gump-like 50,000 miles since '68 with many more to come. That's the plan, at least.

"I'm going to keep going until my legs quit," the former Monticello High principal and longtime district superintendent said. "They're getting worn and I'm getting slower, but I'd hate to stop now."

Coming in next Sunday's News-Gazette: Our 16-page Illinois Marathon special section, complete with results of every participant.

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