Gerontology Wiki
Mike Fremont
Mike Fremont
Fremont running a marathon at the age of 90.
Birth: 23 February 1922
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Age: 102 years, 140 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Mike Fremont (born 23 February 1922) is an American centenarian and athlete and a four-time single-age world record holder. He holds the world records for fastest marathon completed by an 88-year-old and a 90-year old as well as fastest half-marathon completed by a 90-year-old and a 91-year-old. Additionally, at the age of 96, he broke the United States record for fastest mile completed by a member of the 95-99 age group. At the age of 99, he was the oldest person to race in the Canoe National Championships.


Early Life[]

Mike Fremont was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, on 23 February 1922. He attended Yale University and began his athletic career as a member of their wrestling team, from 1940-43. He was of prime age to be drafted to fight in World War II, but his asthma excused him from service. Instead, he began working in his own engineering business.

He first started running regularly at the age of 36, when his first wife died of a brain hemorrhage, leaving him widowed with three children. He often says of this response to grief: "it was much better than the two martinis I used to have."

Fremont's father died of liver cancer at the age of 69, while his mother died in her 70s of a heart attack. Fremont believes his father's cancer was due to his diet, despite also being an athlete and college gymnast. Once Fremont reached the final age his father did, he would receive a similar diagnosis that changed his life.

Later Life[]

In 1991, at the age of 69, Fremont was diagnosed with colorectal cancer after doctors located a metastatic tumor in his body. He was told he had three months left to live if he chose not to go through with an operation. Fremont declined the operation and, instead, inspired by Michio Kushi’s book The Cancer Prevention Diet, adopted a completely plant-based whole foods diet, which he has maintained ever since. Two-and-a-half years after his diagnosis, when his tumor had started to bleed and was surgically removed, doctors found no metastases in 35 locations throughout his body. Fremont attributes overcoming cancer and arthritis to his vegan diet.

A typical breakfast for Fremont is a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and syrup, with a fruit cup on the side. He enjoys eating beans, as well, and tries to eat them every day. His diet is important to him, as he believes that "[an unhealthy] diet and stress are the two things that can kill."

Transitioning to a vegan diet coincided with Fremont's emphasis on environmental activism. He is passionate about climate change, sustainability, and especially the impact of agriculture and CO2 emissions on the environment. Not only is Fremont a champion for veganism by virtue of its health benefits, but he also stresses the positive environmental impacts of adopting the diet.

Fremont has long been an advocate for the protection of Ohio rivers. He started a statewide river protection group that lobbied the Ohio government to protect state waters. He was especially concerned with the Little Miami River, and he worked with Ohio State University for 12 years to understand the economic benefits of keeping this river clean. He found that citing the financial assets to maintaining clean waters was the most effective strategy for cooperating with government organizations to enact positive environmental change.

Not only was Fremont's cancer diagnosis the catalyst for his dietary shift and environmental activism, but it was also the impetus for his competitive athletic career. At the age of 83, he was qualified to run in the Boston Marathon. Until the age of 98, he ran ten miles three times per week. Fremont was also an enthusiastic canoe racer, racing for 60 years before retiring in 2022. In 2000, at the age of 78, he started his own canoeing club, the "EPA," affectionately dubbed the "Elderly Paddlers Association."

In February 2022, he celebrated his 100th birthday with a vegan birthday cake and an oceanside run in Vero Beach, Florida. At the age of 100, Fremont still remains very active. Although he does not run marathons anymore, he still runs smaller races (such as 5Ks), and runs five miles three times per week in Sharon Woods. When he is not active, he likes to read books, especially about environmental issues.

Besides his conscientious eating habits and routine athleticism, Fremont cites a will to help others as an important factor to his longevity. He currently lives with his wife Marilyn Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, at the age of 102 years, 140 days. He has three children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


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