Photo by Nik Newman

While serving as a surgeon during the Vietnam War, 27-year-old Air Force Major Richard Newman found one effective method to cope with the stress: running. After the war, his daily habit evolved into a lifelong love for running marathons, but he had no way of knowing that his passion wouldn’t keep him completely immune from a heart attack decades later.

“There was a perception that if you can run a marathon, you’ll be spared cardiac disease," Newman tells CultureMap. "My parents had no history of [heart attacks]. I violated this notion."

The first marathon Newman ever ran was the San Antonio Marathon in 1978, which he remembers as "an incredible experience and accomplishment for me" and "the beginning of my enthusiasm for the event."

37 years later, as Newman prepared for the 2015 New York City Marathon, he went on one last run with his wife, Julie. But disaster struck:

“I collapsed with no heartbeat. Thankfully, Julie started hands-only CPR for the next 13 minutes. Apparently, many startled bystanders watched. No one seemed to know CPR. Fortunately, one person called 911 from Julie’s phone and placed the phone next to her on speaker to Emergency Services. EMS arrived and shocked me with their defibrillator which started my heartbeat. I woke up in a local hospital with no knowledge of what happened and a painful chest wall from broken ribs from her life-saving CPR.”

Julie Newman is a PhD professor at the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, and Newman credits his survival to her CPR.

“It would be great if everyone understood the importance of hands-only CPR in saving lives. It is imperative to begin CPR as soon as someone is found without a heartbeat because oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the heart and brain during CPR. If there is more than a few minutes delay with not resuscitation, waiting for EMS to arrive, there’s a much higher incidence of irreparable heart and brain damage or death. Successful resuscitation requires, more often than not, breaking the ribs at the breastbone attachment.”

Thanks to Julie’s life-saving CPR, Newman had no muscle damage to his heart or neurological problems. He eventually had to have an internal pacemaker/defibrillator placed, but that didn’t stop Newman from resuming his marathon habit. He was determined to get back to his marathons as safely as he could, and the husband-wife duo ran the New York City Marathon in 2016.

Now 75 years old, Newman plans to mark the occasion with an impressive marathon milestone: the 2022 New York City Marathon on November 6 will be his 75th.

“My routine through the year is jogging 25-30 miles per week," he says. "I try to do a 20-miler a month before the event and taper long runs following."

The San Antonio native’s favorite restaurant is La Fonda on Main, but since he'll be running in New York City, the pair will likely celebrate at his favorite NYC restaurant, Carmine’s.

What advice would Newman give to those who might want to give marathons a try?

“Exercise is important. Running seems to be my passion. As a surgeon, it works to transfer the day’s stress to asphalt. My motivation started with the death of my father in 1977, running in his honor, as do many participants in this event. My brother’s death in 2010 was another major stimulus. Over the years, my goal was to stay sub-four hours and thankfully I was able to qualify for Boston on one occasion. Now, after having a cardiac arrest, I feel blessed to run ahead of the street sweepers and match my age in marathon events. Some advice for early runners looking toward their first marathon would include having good shoes, starting slowly, staying hydrated with electrolytes, and most of all, run for the finish and not for the clock.”

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San Antonio International Airport clears runway for 1st nonstop flight to Europe, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From international flights to local delights, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio International Airport clears runway for 1st nonstop flight to Europe. Passengers can now book tickets for flights from San Antonio International Airport (SAT) to Germany's Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

2. Hot San Antonio hotel brings back popular live fire dinner series for fall. Executive chef Michael Collins will keep grilling on the patio at Ambler Texas Kitchen + Cocktails.

3. New honky-tonk surprisingly two-steps into St. Paul's Square. When Steve Mahoney first relaunched Francis Bogside and Anne’s, rumors circulated on how he would use the expansive upstairs space.

4. Nola breaks new ground and a Hill Country eatery heads to City Hall in San Antonio food news. This week's food news saw the expansion of a popular brunch spot, cookbook and website features, and more.

5. Here are the top 7 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. There's much to do this weekend, including beer festivals and a great standup set.

Hugely popular San Antonio restaurant Ladino celebrates first anniversary with Mediterranean party

Luck be Ladino

Although Ladino has only been a Pearl gem for one year, the mediterranean hotspot already feels like a San Antonio staple.

Helmed by executive chef Berty Richter and Emmer Hospitality, Ladino is slated to celebrate its first anniversary this Sunday with a festive party celebrating the restaurant's success as well as its future. Guests will enjoy a welcome beverage (and more cocktails for purchase), plus unlimited grilled meats, pita sandwiches, and other bites. DJ Zain will keep the energy up, while guests play yard games and kids get their faces painted.

Chef Richter tells CultureMap, '"In the world of restaurants and hospitality, we always strive to progress, keep learning, and improving."

When Ladino opened last September, it represented a promising branching out from its Austin-branched hospitality group parent, which had prior (and has since) earned acclaim from national publications for its cultural vibrancy — and deliciousness, of course.

In Ladino's case, the cultural touchstone is the Judeo-Spanish language of the same name that Chef Richter spoke growing up, which also included elements of Castellano, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Hebrew. Richter's Turkish mother inspired many parts of the restaurant's popular Mediterranean menu.

Despite a strong point of view, the restaurant does have something for everyone, and is very accommodating to patrons with dietary restrictions. Signature staples include the sourdough-based pita bread (which comes unlimited with the hummus dip), kibbeh nayeh with Wagyu tartare, shishbarak (lamb and pork dumplings), and saffron chicken. The Wagyu Denver steak is a consistent standout, with a perfect crispy edge surrounding the medium rare middle.

Chef Richter plans to keep the menu generally the same for now, with the ongoing tradition of rotating some dishes out based on seasonal availability.

"We are excited to continue exploring the cuisines and cultures that Ladino represents, while strengthening our relationships with local farmers, growers, producers, and the communities of San Antonio," says Richter.

Now open seven days a week, Ladino offers a happy hour on weekdays from 5-6:30 pm. Deals include six dollars off of the hummus dip and pita, $5 off of Ladino's signature cocktails and wines by the glass, and deals on other plates like babaganoush, a spicy Feta plate, and more. The happy hour specials are only available at the upstairs bar, which is easily accessible catty-corner to the main Ladino entrance at the Pearl.

Tickets ($40, $15 for kids) to the anniversary celebration on October 1, from 4-8 pm, are still available via Eventbrite. Regular reservations and to-go orders may be made at ladinosatx.com.

Botanical Garden's Lightscape mesmerizes with new exhibits and discount tickets


Call it the grown-up version of posing with Santa Claus. Since its dazzling debut in 2021, the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Lightscape has been the essential stop for holiday photoshoots. Planners are already working hard to ensure the annual tradition is more brilliant — and accessible — than ever.

Tickets are now on sale for the showstopping exhibition, running November 17 to January 1. The festivities will include familiar displays and brand-new illuminated works from global designers.

French creative studio Pitaya will return with a new installation, "Spark Ballet." The work features dozens of hanging lanterns glowing with firefly lights as a flickering guide around the lake. Visitors will also be treated to a pair of large-scale spectacles from UK outfit ArtAV, including an array of sparkling stars and a 40-foot-high LED tree.

Some of last year’s favorites will make an encore. The "Heart Arch Walk" allows guests to stroll under a tunnel of love while "Floraison" canopies explorers with brightly lit poppies. As always, the "Winter Cathedral" provides one last selfie spot.

The ever-popular "Bluebonnets" will also mesmerize sightseers, this time with an army of life-sized cowboy nutcrackers. The "Fire Garden" will have a new addition, too — the 25-foot dragon last seen in the blockbuster Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time exhibition.

Peak date tickets cost $28 for adults and $18 for children, with VIP packages and member discounts available. For the first time ever, the garden also offers Value Nights on select dates in November and December. Revelers can score tickets as low as $18 for adults and $10 for kids online.

San Antonio Botanical Garden Lightscape

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

The Pixel tree makes an ideal selfie stop.