Marathon Walk Star

Surrey’s Ted Myrah walks away from depression, diabetes and obesity

Ted Myrah
Photo: Sewari Campillo

Ted Myrah has spent much of the last 40 years sitting at a desk. In 2010, at the age of 56, the chartered accountant found himself battling crippling depression, type-2 diabetes, elevated blood pressure and 60 extra pounds.

“There is a lot of eating associated with depression,” Myrah says. “I was really struggling mentally and physically just trying, unsuccessfully, to keep up with work and the weight kept climbing.”

In 2013, on the recommendation of his podiatrist, Ted contacted an exercise clinic in White Rock, B.C., and started getting serious about exercise, nutrition and healthy habits to turn his life around.

“It was a slow start for me as I really had not done any physical activity in years,” Myrah says. “I’ve never been particularly athletic and have always been on the heavier side, so that first year was challenging.”

In the fall of 2014, Myrah weighed 240 pounds when Live Well Exercise Clinic Dr. Ali Zentner suggested Myrah start walking in addition to his supervised exercise sessions. Zentner was heading to Hawaii the following year to take part in the Honolulu Marathon and encouraged Myrah and others to join her.

“Ali was confident I could do the Honolulu Marathon and though I wasn’t fully committed, she registered me anyway.”

Myrah joined with the other ‘Walk Stars’ to train for Honolulu and a path to a new life was set in motion. What started with weekly walks around Vancouver’s Stanley Park has evolved into participating in marathons and half-marathons across North America, including the 2015 Honolulu Marathon. He completed the 42.2K in just under eight hours.

“Walking for eight hours straight without a break is a long time,” Myrah says. “But we were so pumped and excited; everything had been leading up to that moment.”

With all the walking he was doing, Myrah’s weight plummeted and he is now off insulin and blood pressure medication completely. The depression is all but gone and he has never felt better in his life.

“I’m still a sedentary accountant, but if it wasn’t for Live Well, I would still be 240 pounds, sitting on the couch and watching television. Instead, I am the fittest and healthiest I have ever been.”

Myrah did seven half marathons in 2016 and went back to Hawaii and completed the Honolulu Marathon again, this time with two of his adult children joining him. Last year he completed another seven half marathons including San Diego, Montreal, Las Vegas and Mazatlan.

“I turn 65 this year and I’d like to do a dozen or so half marathons in 2018,” Myrah says. “A Walk Stars partner suggested ‘70 by 70’ and that sounds like a great plan. I am walking proof that you’re never too old.”