Meet the MORE Half-Marathon Loyalists

Eight women have run or walked each of More’s 10 Central Park races. Three of them explain why they keep coming

by Nancy Stedman
marathon runner image
This photo, from Dixie Douville's fifth MORE race, hangs in her home office. She's run every race from the beginning.

They’re known as streakers—the eight women who’ve finished all 10 More racing events since the first Central Park marathon/half-marathon in 2004. One year the women competed in an epic downpour; the next year, they suffered through blistering heat. In the earliest events, they ran or walked alongside women who were mostly over 40; that changed to women of all ages when Fitness magazine joined the challenge in 2009. Over time, the length of the course also evolved. By 2012, More and Fitness decided it was simpler to limit the race to a half-marathon distance.

What hasn’t changed: The thrill of finishing a tough race. An incredible feeling of comraderie. And knowing that next year you can come back for More.

Here, we catch up with three of More’s streakers.

 

The Marathon Organizer

Dixie Douville recruited a group of 15 women to race in the first MORE marathon/half-marathon. Three of those racers, including Dixie, have competed in each of the last 10 events.

Dixie Douville (above)
Age: 50
Occupation: Sports medicine nurse; also teaches spinning classes
Where lives: Flanders, New Jersey

MORE: What inspired you to enter the first More marathon?
Dixie Douville: In the early 2000’s, I started running with a group of my girlfriends. Over the years, it became our time to share the challenges of our careers, worry about our kids’ college searches and celebrate our friendship. In 2003, I transformed this group into the Girlfriends in Training program, which provides coaching and encouragement to women who want to walk and run together. We brought 15 women to the first More marathon. We’d been running for two to three years but had never run together in a race as a group before.

MORE:  How many women have you been bringing to the More race?
DD: It’s different every year. We’ve swelled as high as 130. This year we had a bit over 40 people running. I was in the middle of a job change and couldn’t recruit as many as I usually do. And there are a good couple of dozen women trying different things such as cycling events. More was the first athletic event they’d ever attempted and that inspired them to try other things. Three of us have entered the More race each year.

MORE: You were written up five years ago in a More story about the race. How did people react to the article?
DD: Many women commented on how the story made them feel like they didn't need to be a hard-core athlete to challenge themselves with the event.  When they read the stories, they saw that the women featured were "real people" with "real lives."  That is also why I liked the story so much. Part of the Girlfriends in Training philosophy is that training should fit INTO your life, not necessarily BE your life.   

My husband had the article and picture blown up and framed for me for Mother's Day. It is in my home office with all of my medals hanging from the top corners of the frame. It serves as a reminder to me that the More races have had a significant influence on the course of my personal and professional pursuits in life.

MORE: Have you competed in other races?
DD: Yes. I’ve done 23 marathons and I don’t know how many half-marathons.

MORE: What’s special about the More event?
DD: Because it’s an all-women event, there’s a sister feeling that doesn’t happen in others. In my group, we talk and don’t really compete. We meet other women. I’ve run a lot of races but I come back to this one because of the connections I make while running. It has become a part of who I am.

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