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.

MORE: In the More article, you said: “My favorite part of every race comes when I do a cartwheel in the final few hundred yards.” Did you do a cartwheel after the 2013 race?
DD: Yes!

MORE: What was your favorite More event?
DD: I think it was my first. When we went it was very small. It was the first all-women race anyone had been in and that inspired us to come back. It was a special day. We’d been running for two to three years but had never run together in a race as a group before.

MORE: Least favorite More race?
DD: One year I got injured at mile 5. Typically after I finish the race, I run backwards on the outside so I can look for women with our T-shirts. I couldn’t do that when I was injured. I didn’t finish with the usual sense of finality.

MORE: How about the year it rained really hard?
DD: That was a blast. The year before it had been 90 degrees. So this time we were just glad it wasn’t hot.

MORE: Future plans?
DD: I’m hoping that More continues to hold the race because it’s a great event. At some point I’m hoping to outlast my age group and take the podium [as a winner] when I’m 80. And I’ll still do a cartwheel when I’m done.

The Half-Marathon Walker

Ten years ago, a fluke cancellation propelled Linda Pelkofer to Central Park one spring. She’s been competing in the MORE race ever since.

Linda Pelkofer (right, during her 10th MORE half-marathon)
Age: 63
Occupation: Realtor
Where live: Pittsburgh, PA

MORE: Why did you enter the first More marathon and half-marathon?
Linda Pelkofer: In January 2003, I read on the local sports page that you were allowed to walk in the Pittsburgh marathon. Even though I had never been athletic, this sounded like fun to me. So I signed up for a training program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and took part in a portion of the Pittsburgh marathon. But a few months later, officials canceled the next year’s Pittsburgh marathon because of budgetary constraints. Then I came across a little blurb in the sports section of the local newspaper saying something like, “Pittsburgh is canceled but if you want to, you can be in the More inaugural marathon/half-marathon for women over 40.” The age caught my attention. During the first few More events, you were allowed to race with an under-40 partner. So I told my daughter, “We’re going!” Penny said that for a free trip to New York City, she would do anything!

MORE: What was the race like?
LP: It was wonderful. There were perhaps a couple thousand racers. It was unique because it was for women over 40. It was so different from what it is now, where the majority are younger women.

I felt like it was such an accomplishment to walk 13.1 miles for the first time at the age of 53. 

And I just continued to keep entering the race year after year.

MORE: Did you ever come close to missing a race?
LP: The first year that race officials capped the number of participants, I went to register for the event and it was closed. I called the New York Road Runners Club. I told them I wanted to be in this race because I was not about to ruin my streak, and they managed to fit me in. Now I sign up the first day of registration.

MORE: What’s special about the More event?
LP: The fact that it’s all women. Every year as I walk around, I’m with women in the vicinity of my age. You walk and chat with a few and then you move on. We encourage each other.

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