NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, who was born and raised in El Cajon, has hundreds of racing titles under his belt. On Monday, the 43-year-old driver hit another milestone by finishing the Boston Marathon in 3:09:07, beating the three-hour, 10-minute mark to qualify for next year’s marathon in his age group.
He finished 646th in his age-group division.
This year’s race took place less than 36 hours after Johnson was behind the wheel in the Toyota Owners 400, in Richmond, Virginia, and it was all part of a plan.
— Ally Racing (@allyracing) April 15, 2019
“The year of the bombing, I was watching it on TV,” he told Men’s Journal of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Johnson started training really hard, and later thought, “I want to be a part of Boston Strong. I want to go experience that.”
Boston was his first full marathon. He runs near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, putting in 20-mile days and peaking at 90 miles a week, according to Men’s Journal.
But Johnson isn’t just a runner and a driver, he’s also a triathlete. He’s completed five triathlons and an Ironman competition.
“I was good with the fundamentals of the car, but I just felt like I wasn’t in as good shape as I needed to be,” he told Men’s Journal.. “I got into fitness really hard. I’ve always enjoyed the variation of the training; there’s an endorphin release.”
Johnson was born in El Cajon and graduated from Granite Hills High School, and has been racing practically all his life–motorcycles, cars, off-road buggies. But it was the Boston Marathon that put him to the test. In a tweet following the event, he said the iconic race was “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, what an experience.”