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?
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)
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.