The saying goes that "life begins at 40." Perhaps for some, but for Dr. Edgar Byron Morgan Sr., life began at 66. It was at the ripe age of 66 that Dr. Morgan ("Doc" as he became known in running circles) completed his first marathon. It wasn’t just any marathon; Doc chose the famed New York City marathon as his first conquest. It would begin the start of a 23 year love affair with running.
Graham Honaker, one of Doc's beloved friends, tells a vivid story of his relationship with Doc, the impact Doc had on his life, and the amazing feats Doc accomplished.
"Doc was the toughest man I ever knew and perhaps the most accomplished too," says Honaker. "A family practitioner for 50 years, Doc delivered hundreds of babies, many of whom still roam the Louisville area today. His passion was his family, including four children and many grandchildren. Doc also became an accomplished horseman, so much so that he now has a place in the Kentucky Harness Horseman’s Hall of Fame. Yet it was running that ultimately defined the legend of Doc.
"As his children grew older and his time at the Churchill Downs racetrack wound down, Doc sought a cure for his insatiable competitive desire. He found it in running. Shortly after turning 60, Doc went out for a short stroll around his neighborhood. His competitive nature quickly transformed the stroll into a jog. Doc ended up jogging 2 miles that day, he would run for thousands of more miles over the next two decades.
"Doc became a running legend in Louisville, Kentucky – a town that loves its racing. Doc would go on to compete in hundreds of local races over the next two decades and starting running marathons - worldwide. He was renowned not just for consistently winning age group awards, but for his intensity and toughness. Doc hated to lose and his competitiveness only increased with age. Family members can recall Morgan sprinting to the end of his races, trying to outlast a competitor whether it was a stranger or one of Morgan’s own grandsons.
"After suffering several falls, Doc was encouraged by several family members to give up running. Doc would have none of this. He responded by becoming the first and last runner I’ve ever seen who wore a bike helmet while he ran his races.