He's 70, he's retiring - so of course he ran a marathon to celebrate

He's 70, he's retiring - so of course he ran a marathon to celebrate
After 20 years of commuting from West Salem to McMinnville, Ted Gross (right) commemorated his retirement from Chemeketa Community College by running to work and back. (KATU photo)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. - As a man who works in higher education, Ted Gross knows better than to misuse the world “literal.”

So you better believe he literally crossed the finish line at the end of his career on Monday.

Gross, who spent the last 20 years commuting from his West Salem home to the Chemeketa Community College campus in McMinnville, decided to put a punctuation mark on his career by running the 25-mile round trip to work, then throwing in an extra 1.2 miles to make it a true marathon.

"I was filling out a time sheet and I thought, it’s 25 miles to my home," he said. "I thought I could just add a little more."

It’s not Gross’ first dance – he’s even run the Boston Marathon twice. But he did turn 70 last month, and a marathon isn’t easy at any age.

Unless you’re Gross, apparently.

“Feeling great,” he said mid-run. “Like a walk in the park.”

Gross was joined by his son Neil and his twin sister Betsy for part of the run.

So, besides giving his students a lesson in going the extra 1.2 miles, what was Gross’ motivation?

“Just for fun with a capitol ‘F,’” he said. “…I'm trying to promote health and wellness."

Gross, who is an adviser at Chemeketa, actually has a few days of work left. His retirement takes effect at the end of the month.