It's one of the most respected races in America and on Monday, April 17, 2017, one area man will be among the elite competing in the Boston Marathon.

Joe Ramirez runs an air conditioning business in Pearsall, Texas.

"I've done fairly good, thank God, I'm not rich, but I make a fairly good living," said Ramirez.

Ramirez spends his days fixing ACs.

But when he takes his uniform off, he's a different person. He's a marathoner.

"It's good for stress and good for your health mainly," said Ramirez.

Running 26.2 miles is tough enough but qualifying for the Boston Marathon is even harder.

"I train three times a week, 6 to 8 miles then I do a pretty hard run Saturday, 16-miler and then I do it again," said Ramirez.

Add to that, Ramirez said, "I turned 65 in February of this year."

You don't just qualify for one of the nation's most prestigious marathons by running a couple of races.

For Joe, he started small by putting in some miles at Pearsall Intermediate School's walking trail. He qualified for the Boston Marathon after completing a marathon this year in Houston in approximately three hours and 50 minutes.

"You don't have to do a marathon, a 5k, 10k, even a mile. Walk it and you'll feel great, especially when you finish at the finish line. Ramirez said. "It's a feeling you have to experience really."

Joe said he will run the Boston Marathon with one goal.

"You finish it, that's what counts. It doesn't matter if you're first, second, last or whatever, the deal is finishing it," said Ramirez.

He thanks God for strength and vows to not stop here.

"My wife says, 'When are you going to stop running?' Until I can't walk," said Ramirez.