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(Ashley Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jim Michie, 74, runs one of his last training runs around Liberty Park on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in preparation for the St. George Marathon this weekend. His three mile run around the park was at his marathon pace of 9:09, which will put him finishing right around 4 hours. This marathon will be Michie's 50th since he started running 34 years ago.
St. George Marathon: SLC resident gearing up for 50th marathon

Jim Michie started running at 46 to lose weight. Now he races all over the world.

First Published Oct 04 2012 11:40 am • Last Updated Jan 14 2013 11:31 pm

St. George • Jim Michie started running 28 years ago when he was overweight and unable to climb stairs without losing his breath.

He hasn’t stopped since.

At a glance

St. George Marathon

Saturday, 6:40 a.m.

Where » Finish line at Worthen Park

Note » Entries capped at 7,400

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The 74-year-old Salt Lake businessman will run in his 50th marathon Saturday at St. George. His goal is to finish 26.2 miles in less than four hours and, of course, win his age group.

"He loves to run and has always been extremely competitive," said his son, James Michie, a Utah 3rd District judge.

"… He’s the only man I know who was happy to turn 70 because, that way, he could run against older guys."

As a youngster, Jim Michie’s family lived in a triplex on in Salt Lake City. He shared one bedroom with three siblings.

"They were quite poor," his son said.

Michie attended East High and excelled in wrestling. As a sophomore, he took third in the state.

"Wrestling is a lot like marathoning," he said, "because you don’t have anybody to lean on. It’s all you."

Michie’s life changed the day he read in The Salt Lake Tribune or Deseret News — he doesn’t remember which one — about a West High student who just received a scholarship to Columbia.

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Michie recalls: "When I saw that article, I said, ‘That’s what I need because I don’t know where I’m going to find money to go to college."

Michie did so well in high school he ended up with academic scholarship offers from Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia.

He picked Yale.

"He’s one of these guys who came from nothing, literally, but excelled in his education and business," James Michie said.

After college, Jim Michie returned to Salt Lake, married and, with his wife, raised a family which includes five children. He worked as manager of a stock brokerage house but, in 1973, started his own business.

Today, with original partner Roger Thompson, he owns apartments throughout the western United States under the umbrella of TM Equities, Inc. As business boomed, however, Michie’s weight ballooned. A friend suggested running as a possible solution.

"I said, ‘No, I think that might be harmful to a person’s health,’" Michie said. "But he kept insisting."

Michie started running when he was 46, even though it took him a month to go a mile without stopping and gasping for air.

"It was painful — pitiful — to watch," his son said.

By 1990, though, Michie ran in the St. George Marathon. He was 53.

A year later, he returned to St. George and ran the fastest marathon of his life — 3:00.28.

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