Herb Mangis has put a lot of miles on his running shoes over the years. He has spent more than a half-century involved in the Billings running community—both as a runner and a volunteer.
Herb says he was getting some exercise in by walking around Pioneer Park back in the late 1960s when he met one of the members of the Yellowstone Rim Runners, who invited him to give the group a try.
“We had a little social after, and I thought this is fun. I started running with them and picked up on it. I was never a fast runner all these years,” Herb says.
He may not have been that fast, but he has been persistent.
“A lot of miles over the years, yeah,” he says.
These days Herb mostly just settles for a brisk walk, leading a small group a few times a week through the streets of Billings.
“I enjoy getting out seeing friends and visiting. Seeing what’s going on in the community because we all come from different walks of life, I guess you’d say,” Herb says.
“He’s like the Energizer bunny. He just keeps going,” says fellow runner Ekkie Wedul.
Maybe not as fast as he once was, but steady, nonetheless.
“If we don’t show up, Herb always gives us a phone call,” says Margy Bonner.
“I push them to do it because it has been so much fun over the years,” Herb says.
While Herb now limits himself to mostly walking, he does hold the Big Sky State games record in the 80+ category for the 10K and half marathon, which he set a few years back.
“So you get into the 70-75s and there’s fewer runners. Then you get into your 80s there’s not many 80-year-olds left,” he laughs.
Herb also still volunteers at many of the runs around town—including the Montana Woman’s Run.
“I’ve always enjoyed the runners. Enjoyed the exercise,” he says.
“He’s an inspiration to all of us,” says Wedul.