Do well-traveled people have an affinity to run in marathons? Certainly, it takes a lot of energy to visit some of the world’s far-flung destinations. We are wondering if this is a trend among TCC members. We know that Missouri Area Coordinator Steve Fuller, Eastern Canada Coordinator Rick Shaver and TCC Treasurer Gloria McCoy are marathon runners. Are there others? Let us know and give us some background. It might make an interesting article to share in The Centurian.
Here is more about the remarkable Gloria and her marathon accomplishments – Her husband (and “agent”), Charlie, says, “She is a real athlete as well as mom/grandmother, scientist and socialite in La Jolla (CA). She has competed in over 250 races in her 40-year career.” She’s still running strong! Charlie reports that just this June she came in second place (in her age division) in the San Diego Rock & Roll Half Marathon. There were 60,000 runners in both the half and full marathons.
“Sometimes life presents us with unexpected surprises beyond our dreams,” Gloria says. “My surprise was the God-given stamina to be a marathon competitive runner. Being a baby boomer and attending high school and college prior to Title IX, which was passed in 1972, and is best known for breaking down barriers in sports for women and girls, I did not participate in competitive sports until I was 25 living in Spokane, WA, and jogging on an indoor track above a basketball court. I won a club competition and was hooked on running.”
Gloria learned that the Boston Marathon was “The Mecca” for marathon running and participation was earned by a qualifying time from a sanctioned USA Track and Field marathon. She finally did qualify and ran in Boston in 1978 and again at the 100th anniversary in 1996. She notes that the women’s marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was the first ever Olympic marathon for women.
“At the age of 68 years I have competed in 115 marathons and about 300 half mara- thons and numerous shorter distances and been blessed to place in the top five in my age division in most all of the competitions,” Gloria states. This past January she won first place in the Carlsbad Half Marathon wo- men’s division, 65-69 years.
“Running has benefitted me in maintaining excellent health and minimizing stress, especially during my career days working in management in biotechnology and raising two daughters as a single mom,” she explains. “The finish lines are memorable, the trophies significant, but my most pleasant memories are travel memories from my earl-morning runs throughout the world,” Gloria concludes.
“The thrill of being the only person there and running in Greece at the original Olympic Stadium at sunrise, the fragrance of the spice market as I ran on New Road in Kathmandu, running through twisted alleyways as the orchid vendors prepared for the early-morning flower market in Bangkok; a very early run around a sleepy abandoned St. Peter’s square, on past the Pantheon to Piazza Navona, to the Roman Forum and around the Colosseum, up the Spanish Steps, past the designer shops on Via Condotti, Rome was all mine in these early hours. During an early run in Casablanca, I was astonished to see in the distance, an exquisitely beautiful Mosque. It grew more beautiful as I approached, and quite by accident, I discovered the Hassan II Mosque, with the world’s tallest minaret topped by a laser, the light directed to Mecca. Ah, and how can I forget Paris and the quiet runs through Jardin du Luxembourg and the fragrances of the flowers. And so many more that I carry in my memory.”