Delaware Senior Rises to Long Distance Fame

Through training and a love of running, JoAnn Szczepkowski, of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, has become the state Marathon record holder for women 65-69, with a time of 4h16:31. Szczepkowski's passion for running started in her late 30s and skyrocketed when she and her husband moved from Olney, MD to the Delaware seaside resort.

Szczepkowski told delawareonline: "Before we came to Rehoboth, I was just running. Now I enjoy it more, but I didn't think I'd ever be running like this. I really got to love it, and I improved dramatically."

"Running didn't really become a passion until about eight years ago," she added.

The 65-year-old former schoolteacher will participate in the Boston Marathon in April. Szczepkowski says her growing success is due to adopting a vegan diet over the last 9 years. "I feel better and healthier and more energetic than at any time in my life," she told the media source.

26 miles and 385 yards is the fabled distance of the long-distance race, the Marathon. Commemorating an ancient Greek run by a messenger to announce the defeat of the Persians, it was instituted in the Olympics in 1896. The record holder is Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie with a time of 2h03:59.

Marathons are held worldwide, the most popular US races in Boston and New York City. They are held for men and women and broken down into age groups. The age component makes the Marathon a realistic endeavour for older adults; practical for devoted participants in Active Lifestyle and Independent Living residences.