A Unique RaceOver 3,500 women from 45 states and 7 countries crossed the finish line in Central Park, New York City, on Sunday, April 10, in the second annual MORE Marathon for women over 40. "Today I watched thousands of women cross the finish line, hand in hand, embracing. I am filled with pride. I vowed I wouldn’t cry, but I did not keep my vow," said Peggy Northrop, Editor-in-Chief of MORE magazine. "MORE magazine is all about celebrating women over 40, and today you’ve proven that women are more fit, more powerful, more confident, and more resourceful than they’ve ever been." Jeannine Shao Collins, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of MORE magazine, was in awe of the spirited women who ran what can seem like an endless race. "Congratulations whether you ran, walked, or crawled across the finish line." The MORE Marathon is the first and only race of its kind. The event is really three races in one — a full marathon of 26.2 miles, a half-marathon team event, and a healthwalk. The race began on a sparkling sunny Sunday morning with temperatures in the high 40s; perfect marathon weather. Greeting the women at the start of the full marathon, Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners, distinguished the race as "the most unique and special race in the world." Joining the half-marathon runners was Stephanie Young, 49, Health Director of MORE magazine. Announcing that this was her first race, Young asked her fellow runners for encouragement along the course. "Monday through Friday I am a health editor, but today I’m a runner," she said. Young finished the race in 2:13:31, just three minutes ahead of her colleague Carol Campbell, the Director of Event and Sponsorship Sales for Meredith Publishing. Model, actress, and writer Karen Duffy was on hand to give the runners a boost before the race. "I’m here because I want to celebrate the strength, beauty, intelligence, and hotness of all of you women," she said to cheers before the start of the full marathon. Duffy is known as the MTV VJ "Duff," and a longtime spokesmodel for Revlon. She won the hearts of women around the world with her memoir, Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wiseass, about her battle with sarcoidosis, a rare and incurable disease that attacks ones’ central nervous system. Why They Ran"At the first New York City Marathon in 1970, that followed this exact course, not one woman finished," said Northrop at the beginning of the full marathon. This three-race event highlighted just how far women have come since then. MORE magazine chose as its spokeswomen for the event two athletes who have crossed the boundaries of both gender and age in their careers. Katherine Switzer, 57, was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon wearing official numbers, and the winner of the 1974 New York City Marathon. Grete Waitz, 51, the nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon, said, "This event shows that age has no limit."The race combined all types of athletes, from newcomers to seasoned veteran runners. This was the 21st marathon for Sherrie Cartinella, from Reno, Nevada, who started running marathons eleven years ago. "It’s all about clarity of mind," says Cartinella, who had to do some of her training on a treadmill because of bad winter weather. "I run not to add a second to my life, but to live better for the seconds that I do." Cartinella is a prime example of picking up a physical activity midlife. "I was never athletic before. I was the last kid to be picked in gym, and when I started training I couldn’t get through two miles on a stationary bike." "We have a population of women out there who are fit and healthy and now want to push the envelope, said Stephanie Young. "We see 40 as a time when we’re blossoming instead of sliding downhill."For Tina Kroske, of Marietta, Georgia, the gentle slopes and skyscrapers peering over the trees were vastly different from the landscape of her last marathon. In 2003, Kroske ran in the first marathon ever to be held in Afghanistan while she was serving in the Army at Bagram Air Force Base. Now an Army Reservist, Kroske said she trained on the base, on the lookout for snipers, and running through land devastated by bombs. Her time in that marathon was 3 hours and 25 minutes. The course ran through some beautiful areas, she said, but they had to be careful as they went around land mines.