Back in 1982, just on the heels of the running craze of the 1970s, Jenny Kenoyer took up running.
A 47-year-old registered nurse at Scenic General Hospital, she would run the four miles home each night after work.
In my prime, when I was running consistently, I could do 8- or 9-minute miles, says Kenoyer, who at 77 is the oldest registered runner for Sundays Modesto Marathon (competing in the 5-kilometer run).
Eventually, she gave up running in favor of walking her second husband wasnt a runner and she decided walking was something they could do together to stay in shape.
But recently, she got the itch again to stretch her legs a little.
I was out walking and I just decided to try running for a mile just jogging, said Kenoyer. It felt pretty good, so I just decided to keep going. Everyday now, I try to get out and do two to three miles.
Of course, Kenoyer isnt the only senior runner.
Barbara Elia, 68, is the oldest registered runner for the full marathon.
I guess I dont want to give in to getting old, says Elia, who will be running her 101st marathon. I just want other people to know they can do this.
But while Kenoyer and Elia are making the point that the Modesto Marathon isnt just for the young it actually is.
You see, the Modesto Marathon was created as a vehicle for Teens Run Modesto, a youth running program modeled after the highly successful Students Run LA program.
Created in 1987, SRLA was founded by a Los Angeles
This program is about learning how to set and achieve goals, said Virginia Gibbs, Development Director of SRLA. Hard work, discipline and persistence leads to success, whether its in the marathon or school or in life. Thats really what theyre learning.
Last year, 2,856 SRLA students and coaches ran in the Los Angeles Marathon. Of those, 667 were seniors in high school. Ninety-nine percent of them graduated high school and more than 95
Sunday, some 230 runners and coaches will take part in the Modesto Marathon. And Prescott Junior High will send more nearly 49 runners 14 for the marathon and 35 for the half the most of any school in the area.
The program keeps them motivated and proves hard work pays off, says Pingree, who was a part-time, recreational runner before getting involved with TRM. They see what its like to be successful.
I know its changed my whole lifestyle. I spend four days a week with those kids. When its over were all going to be lost. We wont be waking up early to go to the park.