Raised to Run: Arturo Montero

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Running
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77 Years Young Arturo Montero

Only one runner from the original marathon will be running the ING NYC Marathon.  He’s a grandfather from Stamford, CT, meet 77-year old Arturo Montero.  He fininshed the first NYC marathon race in 1970. 

Arturo Montero says he loved running even as a child in Chile before he came to NYC.  So when he heard about a 26.2 mile run through Central Park, he raced to sign up. “The first year it was only one dollar.”  A one dollar entry fee paid by each of  the 100 runners that started the race,  only half of them made the distance. “Only 50 finished… we were so tired… there no water stations.  We had a sandwhich and they gave us a Coke.”

He’s still got the trophy from that year and his bright yellow race tshirt identifies him as one of the originals.  On a run he told me how race director Fred Lebow told the finishers since they had been the first, they could come back every year for the race – for FREE.  You might say Arturo got a bang for his buck – He’s run 30 NYC marathons since!!!!!!! 


Amy and Arturo on a Run!

“I love the NYC Marathon.  It’s beautiful.  The people are happy.  Everyone is  great.. you are never alone!”

But he’s not only a fan of the NYC Marathon, he’s spent a lifetime on the run. Races all over the world… including a sub 3hour marathon in Toronto a few years ago. “My fastest was Tornonto I won the Master Championship 2 hours 59 minutes.”  He’s got medals and awards and among his momentos is a newspaper article about his trip to moscow for a marathon… he actually made the paper after that race for being robbed on a train!  Even with his worlwide adventures… there’s no question about his favorite stretch of his favorite race. 

Montero says he loves, “the Bridge. Crossing verzaona bridg…  all the neighbors everywhere.  Spanish German Itlaian… very neighborhood is out!”

His family will also be on the 2012 ING NYC Marathon course… likely calling his nickname – which is also on his license plate – go “callela,” which is Spanish for runner.  “My goal for this year is… the finishers are the winners.” Last year he placed 4th in his age group…  he’s now 77 – and we’d like to think double 77s are a lucky number!    



Stamford, CT at Arturo’s home

By Amy Freeze


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