This Sunday, March 21, the first running of a marathon for women over 40 will take place at Central Park in New York City. The 42-kilometer run is sponsored by More magazine, a publication aimed at women in mid-life. "We wanted to do something that really expressed the spirit of this crowd that they're strong, they're confident, they can go the distance," explains Susan Crandell, More magazine's editor-in-chief. She says the population of older women who run competitively is growing. At last year's New York City Marathon, 35 percent of the women who completed the race were 40 years old or older.
For the More magazine marathon, Ms. Crandell has included two kinds of races one full marathon of 42 kilometers and another marathon that can be shared between a friend or a daughter of 21 kilometers each. Nancy Halloch and her daughter Erica are one such team. Nancy, who lives in Albany, New York says she began running at age 44 to shed the extra weight that came after years of raising children.
"I just started very gradually," she said. "I started on a treadmill running a minute at a time, gradually increasing the length of time that I could run until I got so I could go the distance."
Nancy eventually lost 31 kilograms of extra weight. Her daughter Erica says she is inspired by her mother's commitment. "It was a big change in her," she said. "It's great that we're able to run this thing together because it's kind of a culmination of a lot of hard work. So it will be exciting."
More editor Susan Crandell says she has found that women in particular enjoy the "team" approach of competitive running as a way of keeping one another motivated.
"We have over 2,300 women coming to run on Sunday, the half [marathon] and the whole," she said. "And from what I hear from all the ones I've talked to so far is that they're so happy to be in a group of women to look around and see faces like theirs and to feel that kind of power from the group."
Susan Crandell was joined by mother-daughter running team Nancy and Erica Halloch in an interview on the network television program, The Early Show.