73-year-old prepares to run Mini Marathon for the 40th time

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – David and Ann Cook recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.

If all goes according to plan, they’ll soon be celebrating another major milestone.

“I would like to keep going until I have to walk, so maybe I’ll be a walker soon. I’m almost a walker now,” said David.

Cook is set to finish his 40th 500 Festival Mini Marathon. He’s been running the race so long that he remembers back when it was held on the Friday before the Indy 500.

The last time he missed the event was in 1995 when he was recovering from what’s called “sudden cardiac death.”

“The surgeon and the cardiologist came in and said his heart’s been destroyed. He’s going to need a heart transplant, if he can survive. And I said, that can’t be right,” said David’s wife, Ann.

David surprised his doctors and made a full recovery. For the past 24 years he’s worn the exact same t-shirt on race days. He got it when he finished cardiac rehab, and it reminds him and others just how far he’s come.

“It’s not a technical weave. It’s just a cotton t-shirt, but so far so good,” said David with a laugh.

Thousands of people will line the course to cheer for David and the other runners. But Cook’s wife says she won’t be in the crowd.

“It just makes me too nervous because you do hear sirens and stuff and I don’t want to be there being nervous,” said Ann.

While she may not be there in person, after five decades of marriage, these two lovebirds are always on each other’s minds and forever in one another’s heart.

“I tell him I love him and to stay upright.”

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