BETA

Late starting runner finishes 17 marathons

BAURU, Brazil — Pioneer Church member Antonio Olivio de Oliveira used to run as he went home teaching, gaining momentum that led him to begin competing as a runner when he was 46 years old.

A highlight in his competition came in November 2002, when, at age 67, he participated in the Curitiba International Ecological Marathon and won third place. This was his 17th marathon.

He was baptized on Dec. 24, 1955, when the Church was new in Bauru. Antonio, his five brothers and sisters, and their parents, Gervsio de Oliveira and Pura Maldonado de Oliveira, were baptized at the same time. The family attended all the activities and each held many callings. To get everything done, he recalled, he ran through the streets of the city with his partner, Lzaro Beteto (who later became the Bauru stake president), to do their home teaching.

He and his late wife, Ceclia Peres Ribeiro de Oliveira, are the parents of four boys; they have four grandchildren. Their life was humble as he struggled to support the family.

"We always followed the principles of the gospel which I love, and obeyed the Word of Wisdom," he said. "We went to bed early and got up early."