If this were a full op-ed — and perhaps it should be — I would be thanking the heavens for the bluebird day in Seward; praising the city of Seward for putting on, again, a remarkable event; lauding the Mount Marathon race committee for its tremendous work in carrying off such a race of a lifetime; marveling at the splendid athletes that tackled and conquered a mountain in a race born of a barroom bet. I would be memorializing my smile as the race announcer proclaimed, "And now for the main event — the 2018 Women's Mount Marathon!" — beaming with pride as my youngest daughter lined up for her 17th Mount Marathon preparing to again morph from caterpillar to butterfly as she along with 300-plus fit, determined, soon-to-be exhausted women lined up in downtown Seward.
But it is just a letter to the editor, and must be succinct and to the point.
When I first met David Aquino almost three decades ago, he was a massive body builder with a physique to rival a former California governor. Those days are gone — he now resembles a Maori warrior with marasmus performing Kapa Haka. There's not an ounce of fat on his 5-foot-7-inch frame because, for the past many months, three to six times per week, he has done "two-a-days" on the back side of Flattop. Burning every ounce of fat, he turned himself into a Mount Marathon machine!
During this year's race, his 16th, he showed his true mettle, achieved his sought-after goal and conquered a mountain. I will no longer call this gentle man with whom I share grandchildren "Dave" — from now on he will be "Mr. 70."
At 70-plus years of age, he smoked the mountain and won his age division. We are damn proud of him and predict that for the next nine years, he will be "Mr. 70" — until he becomes "Mr. 80!"
— John Hall
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