For runner Bill Briggs, age just number

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Often, people will categorize people and what they are able to accomplish by factors of height, weight and especially age.

Bill Briggs, a longtime resident of Savannah, Georgia, has managed to shatter the profile of age though.

Briggs, who is set to turn 89 on St. Patrick’s Day, has run in over 600 races throughout his lifetime, a milestone that is highly revered in the running community.

“I love running and everything that it has done for my life,” Briggs said. “It really was a godsend for me and has been a part of my life since I started it.”

Briggs was inspired to begin his running journey in 1979 when his nephew ran as a bandit (one who is not officially registered to run) in the Chicago Marathon. Some personal struggles in his life also allowed running to serve as a modem of control in his life.

“It really gave me reassurance in my life at the time,” Briggs said. “At a time when I felt like I didn’t have a lot of control, I was able to control everything about my running.”

Briggs, who lived in Paris for nearly 40 years, has many fond memories regarding the city.

“I grew up in a small town outside of Boston and the size of Paris reminded me of home,” Briggs said. “My wife (Dorene Walden) was from Paris and we were active in everything from recycling to church there.”

Despite being in the beginning stages of his racing career at the time, Briggs trained by running from Paris to Redmon. He officially competed in his first race - the Chicago marathon - in October of 1979, just four months after he first started running.

“It was tough to have such a big race like a marathon as my first one,” Briggs said. “Finishing it though was an incredible feeling.”

In 1996, Briggs moved to Savannah where he has continued to run in anything from 5K’s to marathons. He is currently sitting at 618 races, 60 marathons and over 60,000 miles under his belt. With so many achievements accomplished, many people would consider slowing down. He has no intention to stop running though and is advocating for others around his age group to get involved in the sport as well.

“Running is really a positive addiction and I love it so much,” Briggs said. “There are a lot of people that stop being active when they get older and there are often not many people in my age group at racing events. I want to change that and to show people of my age that they can get out and run too.”