(WSVN) - A retired South Florida firefighter is proving that age is truly just a number. With perseverance and support, there are “No Obstacles.” 7’s Brian Entin has tonight’s special report.
Obstacle course races are extreme tests of physical endurance. They can be a challenge at any age.
Let alone at this age.
Richard “Monty” Montgomery: “If they knew I was 93, but since I only look 25.”
Richard Montgomery, who goes by Monty, will be celebrating his 93rd birthday Monday.
Last month in Jacksonville, at the chipper age of 92, he ran his fourth Spartan Race.
The three-mile, 20-obstacle trek sent Monty…
- Jumping over smoldering fire.
- Dunking himself in a dirty, water pit to get under a barrier.
- Crawling on his hands and knees below barbed wire.
- Amazingly, pulling himself up a mud-slicked wall.
Monty Montgomery: “I’m thinking, ‘I hope to hell I can make it up here.'”
At this point you might be asking: Why?
Monty has a simple answer.
Monty Montgomery: “To see if I could do it. That’s all. It was a challenge. And I kind of like challenges.”
Monty has been challenging himself his whole life.
The World War II vet joined the army in 1945. He later spent 32 years as a Miami-Dade firefighter.
Monty Montgomery: “I enjoyed every day being a firefighter. I think it’s the greatest job in the world. I was the oldest man in the fire department when I left. I was 68.”
It’s his commitment to service that brings Monty back to the race course.
Please clear the way for Operation Enduring Warrior!
Running with Monty were athletes from Operation Enduring Warrior, who help wounded veterans and law enforcement officers complete challenges.
They wear masks to keep the focus on competitors like Drew Stokes, a federal agent who survived being shot five times in 2017.
Monty considers these racers the true heroes.
Monty Montgomery: “The ones that have lost an arm, a leg, both legs, and as far as I’m concerned, everything should have been about those guys. I mean, they were incredible.”
Monty’s wife and daughter think their humble veteran is pretty incredible, too.
Diane Bekkedam, Montgomery’s daughter: “His entire life has been of service to others, and even in retirement and in his 90s, he’s continuing to serve his community by being an example of what you can be.”
Necia Montgomery, Montgomery’s wife: “It is him just being him, but now I have come to realize that there are not many hims quite like him.”
It’s worth mentioning that Monty has had both his knees replaced.
Monty Montgomery: “‘You’re not supposed to run, you’re not supposed to jump,’ and I thought, ‘What the hell did I have the knees done for?’ If they last 10 years I’ll be 103. I’ll probably slow down a little bit, or else I’ll get new ones.”
So what’s next for Monty as he starts his 93rd year? Well, he’s set to do another Spartan Race in April.
Monty Montgomery: “Maybe I’m a little bit slower, but my wife will tell you I was pretty slow to start with.”
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