Thursday, April 7, 2011

Margaret Hagerty: 88 Year Old International Marathon Runner

Margaret Hagerty is an amazing 88-year-old running diva. You might have heard of her since she has been in countless magazines and news stories. She is in the book of Guinness World Records, as “the oldest person to complete a marathon on each of the 7 continents at age 81” and has a huge room overflowing with trophies! The amazing thing is that Margaret didn’t even start running until the age of 64, after visiting a clinic to try to stop smoking!!

She has always loved to travel and found a way to combine her passion for running with traveling. She has run marathons all over the world and created albums highlighting each country and marathon. She tours and explores the places where she goes to run. She is like an encyclopedia of marathons. The one marathon she says everyone should experience is “The Great Wall” Marathon in China. However, her personal favorite is "The Arctic Marathon".
 The trophies, medals and pictures she has collected over the years are awesome! It is amazing to hear her stories about running the marathon course of the original marathoner Phidippides, of the Mount Everest Challenge Marathon, or about the grueling Antarctica Marathon. You get the idea, I can not do her or all of her experiences justice in this short blog!

In her words, “trash self-doubt. Dare to be yourself!" Margaret quotes Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Margaret and I with her latest trophy from the Cooper River Bridge Run, April 2, 2011.

Margaret says,“You do not know what is possible until you try the impossible and make a hard fought effort to succeed. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.”
She is an inspiration to everyone who sees her at the races. If you talk to her, you realize she is competitive and loves winning the age group awards at almost every race, she also finds friends wherever she goes. I am so glad I got to spend some time with Margaret; she has some wonderful stories, loves running and radiates determination.

She is truly one of my heroes!


Debbra said...

Great blog post! I can't believe she ran a marathon at age 81! Amazing! I hadn't heard of her but would like to know more of her story...

Margaret Hagerty is truly a "runner who inspires!"

Hector and Christy said...

Very cool! You can always find excuses to not push yourself if you are really looking to get out of it but at the end of the day, when you push the excuses aside, it all comes down to the good old Nike slogan "Just Do It!""

Emily said...

Debbra, she is amazing and Hector and Christy, you are so right, we can make excuses all day, but the prize belongs to those you just get out there to begin with!

Charlene said...

Margaret is truly an inspiration! She lives down the street from us so we get to see her training quite often. Recently she was moving slowly so I asked her how her run went. She said she was just out putting one foot in front of the other!
I'm almost 61 and started running about 6 months ago. Margaret is always so positive when I see her on the street or at races. Truly, truly an inspiration!

Jennifer said...

I was fortunate to be roommates with Margaret in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2004 when we ran the 1/2 marathon with a tour group. I think of her everytime I run. When we went to dinner with the tour group, someone mentioned not entering a tri-athalon becuase he did not think he'd do well and Margaret said, "Well that's no reason not to try something!". She inspires me to keep running & trying new things.

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing Charlene and Jennifer,it is truly a privilege to know spend time with someone like Margaret!

Debby Dear said...

Great article about one of my FAVORITE people!! I met Margaret at the start of the Kiawah Marathon in 2009. We chatted for a minute or two and when the gun sounded and she ran off, I said to myself, "I want to get to know that lady!" Boy , am I glad I did! She has been such an inspiration to me. As one who did not start running till I was almost 50, she inspires me to keep on running - hope I will be running at 88!! She just finished the Kiawah Half Marathon this past December and bettered her time from last year! She has already planned her next run - the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon in Moshi, Tanzania this February!!! Maybe its's time for another interview and blog update on Miss Margaret!

Emily said...

Great idea Debby!