Age-Old Runners: A Photo Gallery

“Age-Old Runners” is an article series where we explore runners’ performance potential after the age of 45 by interviewing excellent middle-aged runners. When I interviewed Nancy Hobbs, she shared a story about her 60-year-old friend who went to the gym regularly and was often told that he didn’t look his age. “[P]eople say to me, ‘You don’t look 60.’ And I tell them, ‘I do look 60. I am 60.’”

His response resonated with Nancy, me, and a lot of you. Because little media attention is paid to older runners and their athletic accomplishments, there are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about what older athletes look like and what older bodies are capable of.

With this photo gallery, we want to:

  1. Refine your understanding of what runners in their mid-forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties are up to;
  2. Address what looking your age means;
  3. Shine a light on the racing that’s going on in this part of our community; and
  4. Show you who your competition is.

Thank you to everyone who shared their photos for this project. Opening my inbox each morning and seeing your happy running faces has been the very best part of this series. The next time someone tells you that you don’t look your age, try telling them you certainly do. And then tell them about your running goals.

[Editor’s Note: All photos are courtesy of the runner identified in the photo or their friends/family unless otherwise noted. Discrepancies in the number of women and men displayed in this article are a result of fewer submissions from women.]

Our Age-Old Runners Series

This article series has included interviews with 17 great runners ages 45 and up. We invite you learn more about each of them:

Meghan Laws

Meghan Laws. Photo: Tarawera Ultramarathons

Roy Pirrung

Roy Pirrung.

The 85-to-89 Age Group

Here’s a runner representing the 85-to-89 age group:

John Young

John Young.

The 80-to-84 Age Group

Here’s the 80-to-84 age group:

Jimmie Barnes and Don Winkley

Jimmie Barnes (left) and Don Winkley (right).

The 75-to-79 Age Group

Here’s the 75-to-79 age group:

Rodger Smith

Rodger Smith.

The 70-to-74 Age Group

Meet some runners from the 70-to-74 age group:

Jim Luft

Jim Luft.

The 65-to-69 Age Group

Here’s the 65-to-69 age group:

Ais North

Ais North.

James Griffis

James Griffis.

The 60-to-64 Age Group

This is the 60-to-64 age group:

Michele Hammond

Michele Hammond.

Kim Wrinkle

Kim Wrinkle. Photo: Pikes Peak Ascent

The 55-to-59 Age Group

Meet some runners from the 55-to-59 age group:

Yoshiko Jo

Yoshiko Jo.

Rauno Lahti

Rauno Lahti.

The 50-to-54 Age Group

Presenting the 50-to-54 age group:

Gwen Beacham

Gwen Beacham. Photo: Chasqui Runner

Topher Gaylord

Topher Gaylord.

The 45-to-49 Age Group

Here’s the 45-to-49 age group:

Tara Holland

Tara Holland. Photo: Phil Tifo

Raghu Chandran

Raghu Chandran. Photo: Bengaluru Marathon

Call for Comments

Calling all age-group runner stories and photos! Leave a comment with your story about age-group running or to share a link to a favorite photo of you or your beloved age-group runner.

Liza Howard

is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

There are 47 comments

  1. Chase Aycock

    This is so cool! Definitely challenges self-limiting beliefs and gives those of us who are a bit younger something to aspire for!

  2. Rick Yelverton

    Love it! So thrilling to be included in such an amazing community, and nice to know as a youngster of 60 or so, got decades left hang out with these folks! :)

  3. Dayle Quigley

    What I find incredible is how strong every runner looks independent of their age. Very cool. Great article and photo gallery.

  4. Lea Ivy

    Love all these photos of age-old runners! Having just turned 47, I look forward to running strong in the next 47 years. I want to be the 94 year-old crossing the river! :)

  5. Alison North

    Thank you for including me – It’s great to see so many older runners. Such amazing athletes here. #heathyageing
    Ais North
    PS I am 70 although 65-69 age group is fine

  6. John B

    THIS. IS. AWESOME!!! Great idea for an article. I am coming up on 51 this month, and most of the people I run with are much younger. In some ways it’s great because it pushes me. But in other ways it’s a bummer because it sometimes reminds me I’m becoming “over the hill”. Seeing these great pictures of people in competition or out on incredible adventures reminds me that I still have a lot of competition and a lot of adventures still to come. Cheers to putting this together! (Side note, I wish race directors would take stock in this and start putting some emphasis on Masters awards.)

  7. Dave Perry

    As someone who started running later in life it’s awesome to see everyone ahead of me showing how much more there is to come! Thanks for this!

    PS. Weird seeing myself in your column ;)

  8. Chris

    This is fantastic!! Inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging. Everyone “looks” so young, it’s a testament to the benefits of always looking after your health and to keep running!

  9. CINDY SCOTT

    I am blissed out seeing the photos and reading about the other more ‘experienced runners’. At 62 I run a lot and get many frown from friends and family they are not ‘sure’ I should be running ‘at my age’. When I am running , I don’t know my age.
    I need more of this type of website and pictures, stories , hints from the over the 30 gang.

    Thank you everyone!

  10. Mike McMillan

    I love running as a 63-year old and hope to continue to do so as long as possible. My philosophy is mostly like Bob Hearn’s – keep trying to win, place, or show in my age group at every race I run. I’m not setting age group records like Bob is, or at least I’m not yet.

  11. Sophie Speidel

    Thank you Liza and Irunfar for featuring these inspiring people and their stories! I hope to meet more of my fellow age groupers in the years to come…long may we run!

  12. Brad Boyle

    Love this as a 60 year old really admire the 80 + guys Don Winkley ( look at those legs) decades of ultras. Keep moving!

  13. Lizi

    This is a nice piece! We all need to see and feel they joy that running gives us no matter the age or the level. Great work by Lisa. Lets share more of this!

  14. Art Bradham

    Best line ever – I’m 64. After I finished a recent muddy 50k, a lady approached me and said “how do you run that far that fast at your age?” All I could say is “lady, if you give me a week I’ll have a catchy comeback line.”

    Thanks for the article. There’s plenty of running left to do at any age. Wisdom is knowing what you can or can’t do, and then ignoring it.

  15. Joseph

    This is so phenomenal! And really points to something very special about the ultra running community. Thanks for this whole series.

  16. Larry Baker

    At 57 I go out every day and do what the body allows. I love being outside and on the move. Thanks for this spotlight on the “older” runners.

  17. Sam Lockhart

    Many Thanks for posting my picture. At the ripe old age of 50, I’m only a youngster compared to most of these amazing people. Looking forward to early retirement and growing old whilst continuing in the beautiful sport of Ultrarunning. Age is only a number and there are no limits to what you can achieve .

  18. Jeff Gambrell

    What a good-looking bunch! Thank you, Liza, for giving a voice to these particular athletes (and many others like them) and for recognizing their achievements.

  19. Kim Alexander

    What a great article, I am still reading through the group. At 65, and running for 43 years this series was very encouraging. Thank you to the entire team that put this together….Where I am at there are few runners and no one my age so this kinda article really inspiring….Thank you

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