Women's Running

RUNNING gracefully into OLD AGE

Peggy Richko discovered the marathon late in life. She’s been a runner forever, but she didn’t race 26.2-miles until age 54. Immediately hooked on the sense of accomplishment, Richko proceeded to run 17 more marathons over the next decade. Today at 72, she’s still going strong—and has no plans to stop.

“I am retired from work and I don’t have to do anything hard,” Richko says. “I could spend my day reading, shopping, watching TV or napping, but I need the challenge of running.”

Richko is one of a growing number of women who continue to run and race well into their later years. Running USA stats reveal that the over 65 age group in road races grew from 216,884 participants in 2013 to 434,640 in 2018. In the 55 to 64-year old category, numbers went from 650,652 to nearly 1.1 million in the same time frame—and women make up 59 percent of participants at road races.

Sponsors, naturally, are taking notice of this growing demographic, too. Richko is one of the three women over the age of 70 included in Oiselle’s “Elite Grannies” team—joined by 73-year old Marjorie

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