Lufkin 87-year-old blazed trail for female marathoners

Lufkin 87-year-old blazed trail for female marathoners
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The weather was perfect for a vibrant 87-year-old former marathon runner to lace up and go for her daily walk. The Lufkin woman was a trailblazer for female runners back in the early 70s.

Even though she is knocking on 88, she never misses a day of walking her track, the Pinecrest Retirement Community.

"My husband had a heart attack, and so, he was needing to exercise," said Gloria McLeod, former marathoner.

That was in the early 70s. From there, McLeod went on to become a trail blazer for women running alongside their supposedly stronger counterparts.

"Women just started running about the same time I did," McLeod said.

McLeod and her late husband Harry, traveled around marathons. They heard the gunshots kick off 13 marathons and every 5K and 10K between the 70s and 80s.

"We got in pretty good shape, and then were planning a vacation and said, 'We'll go to Boston. Well, the Boston Marathon was going on, so we decided we'd run that," McLeod said.

She's now in perfect health. She said her active lifestyle is what keeps her going strong.

"I'm almost 88 years old, and I can still walk for an hour or more at the time. I'm still not fat!" McLeod said.

I told McLeod about the 100-year-old woman who made headlines crossing the finish line.

"Yeah, I can do that. If I keep doing what I'm doing, yes!" McLeod said.

The trailblazer plans to do just that.

McLeod said she didn't finish the Boston Marathon because her husband had gotten tired. They made sure to go back to finish three days later.

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