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 18 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. Photo: Joe Marcello

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.