"At 75, he goes the distance"

By Danielle Flood

Miami News Reporter

(continued from Miami News page)

and who has completed the first and second annual Mayor Daley Marathons in Chicago, a marathon by definition covering a distance of 26 miles and 385 yards.
Mostow the Realist: a 14-year-old boy who had a nickel daily allowance to cover his lunch, car fare or school supplies. A carton of milk cost two cents, a sweet roll, a penny. It was six miles to and from Chicago's Lane Technical High School. He walked.
Then he needed 25 cents for a used shop apron. The family couldn't afford it. "Tomorrow I go to work," he told his mother. And he did, for Western Union, as a clerk, who in his work had to walk a lot.
All his life, Ben "Chick" Mostow has opted to walk. Even as Mostow the Provider, he would amble out of the building that housed his wholesale general merchandising business and its 60 employes, to think over a problem on moving feet. About 20 years ago, in response to an ad in a newspaper, he began walking his age for charity.
But it is not only walking that has kept Mostow fit. "I have a Rolls-Royce for a body," he says.
Never smoked a cigarette. "Nooooo," Mostow says, rhyming with the sound of a cow. Never had alcohol. "Nooooo," Mostow says, "except, maybe, (he measures a quarter of an inch between his thumb and forefinger) a sip at someone's house at dinner to be polite." Always early to bed. Always early to rise.
But he had a vice.
Chocolate turtles.
But he gave them up years ago, when Elizabeth, his wife, told him he was getting fat.
Mostow draws in his breath to expand his chest for measuring: 36 inches. Waist: 29. Hips: 33. Weight: 118-120 libs. Height: 5 foot 3 3/4. Shoe size: 7E.
"The bottoms of my feet are like a baby's face," he says. "Smooooothe." Runers who run as much as Mostow does, 50 to 65 miles a week, are not supposed to have soft, callous-free feet.
Mostow the Face smiles. The mouth, thin, spreads wide-wide. The brown eyes, shining, magnified by oversize-frame glasses, seem to say he is a man with a wonderful secret.
There is no secret. He is just excited. "Yes," says Mostow the Decisive, "I am. I am so proud." And then he does it. The white hush puppies and socks come off. Up with the feet, higher than the kitchen table. "Seeee? No corns. No blisters. Nu. Nu. Nuuuuuu."
I start out slow at a sustained pace. I let the big fellows pass me. I'll pass them up in the next few miles. I see fellows passed out by the wayside."
Unlike some, Mostow runs non-stop. His time in the Daley Marathons was 4 1/2 hours; 1978 OBM winner Pat Chmiel's was two hours, 24 minutes and 10 seconds.
"I have a light step. And I take short steps. I come down on the pavement like this. (He gently puts palm to palm.) The big guys come down very hard; like this. (He smacks his palms together.) That's where they get the aches and pains in their legs. I have no aches, no pains."
When he gets home from a marathon, he takes a bath, eats --"very light, a small steak, no salt, nothing, and a salad, some cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, no dressing" -- and then he takes a 4-mile walk "to wind down from the run."
"So many retired people ask me if they can start to run. I say, 'Please start walking.' They have a pot belly."
Bob Volski, Orange Bow Marathon coordinator and a physical therapist, says there's "no problem starting a running program at a late age." 
But he says a full physiological check by a physician or other qualified person is a must.
Mostow the Realist says, "When the good Lord wants me, he can take me running or walking. Quick. Right out of stock."
Copyright 1979 The Miami News

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