If you are interested in finding out more about the experiences of women runners over 50 have a look at some of the blogs listed here.
In 2013 when I first started looking for blogs by women runners over 50 I only found a handful but gradually that number has grown to include American, Canadian, Australian and British bloggers. I’ve only included blogs where there have been recent and fairly regular posts.
Do let me know if you follow other blogs by women runners aged 50+ so I can add them to this list! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.
Audrey McIntosh is an ultra runner from Glasgow who took up running in her mid-thirties. In her blog she writes about her running and reflects on related topics. She ran her first marathon in 2003 and has run more than 45 races at marathon or ultra distance. Since 2013 Audrey has organised the Loch Katrine Running Festival. She has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity. Her current challenge is to run a 100k ultramarathon in extreme conditions on each continent. Audrey writes: “I’m fully aware that other runners have completed more races, have clocked up more miles, and run faster. But ticking boxes is not my driver. For me, running is all about the sense of purpose and well being it brings.” @AudreyMcintosh
Karen Nash is an ultra runner from Preston with a love of fell running, trail running and climbing. Her blog contains detailed accounts of long-distance, off-road races. She races regularly, often finishing first female. In May 2018, aged 57, she was the first woman to finish, and fourth overall, in the Northern Traverse, a self-supported, 190-mile race with over 16,000 feet of ascent, coast to coast from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. A lifelong runner, Karen says: “As I got older, slower and more injured I moved to longer races and found the ultra series. I may not be all that fast compared to some but I love the long days and friendship this has given me.”
Nicky Spinks is an accomplished fellrunner, who has set many records on British long-distance fell runs, including three 24-hour challenges: the Bob Graham Round, the Ramsay Round and the Paddy Buckley Round. In 2016 she became the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round, running the Lake District route twice – 132 miles in 45 hours 30 minutes. In April 2017 she celebrated her 50th birthday by running the Joss Naylor Challenge in the Lake District, setting a new fastest women’s time over the 50 mile route. Nicky is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at 39. She farms in Yorkshire and records her farming life and running life in a diary on her website. @NickySpinks
Hannah Kirkman turned 50 in 2016 and has been running since her twenties, when she began training for her first marathon. She began Chi running (applying the principles of T’ai Chi to running) to overcome injury and subsequently went on to qualify as a trainer. She runs Chi running courses and is also a personal trainer. She writes blog posts about her running and races. In April 2017 she delighted to run her fastest half marathon for over 15 years. @BlueSkyHannah
Jenny Baker started running in 1999 and has run 5 marathons. In her blog she reflects on the part running plays in her life and says: “Running has been many things to me – a space to achieve new things, a way to keep fit and stay healthy, a source of friendship and community.” In 2015, just after her 50th birthday, Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer and she documented her experience of treatment, recovery and running on her blog. Her book about this: “Run for Your Life” was published in January 2017. @runningjenbaker
Fran Allison is an enthusiastic member of Caistor Running Club in Lincolnshire. She describes her Fit After Fifty blog as “my thoughts on being Fit after Fifty, Feeling Fantastic, Running, Physical & Mental Wellbeing and random stuff.” In 2016, Fran ran her first ultra race, the Dukeries Ultra 30 in Nottinghamshire. She enjoys supporting and encouraging other people, and her blog is full of stories of her running companions.
Ronnie Haydon, author of the Marathon Gran blog, is a writer and journalist who lives in London. She describes Marathon Gran as “a belated marathon training blog from a woman with something to prove”. Ronnie ran the London Marathon in 2015 in under 3 hours 45 minutes, a time which falls well within the Good For Age qualifying time for women in her age category (50-59). @Ronnie_Haydon
Mimi Anderson is a British runner in her fifties who took up running at 36 and has run the world’s most famous ultra races including the Marathon des Sables (the Sahara), Comrades (South Africa), Badwater (US) and Spartathlon (Greece). She also holds Guinness World Records: fastest female running from John O’Groats to Lands End; fastest crossing on foot of Ireland; and furthest distance covered by a woman on a treadmill in 7 days (403.81 miles if you were wondering). Sadly as a result of a knee injury Mimi has had to retired from ultrarunning and is now focusing on swimming and cycling. Her blog has lots of information about the ultras she completed, her training and preparation for races. @marvellousmimi
Angela Shepherd is a British diet and nutrition adviser who blogs about her racing and race training. She has run marathons including the Greater Manchester marathon and Plusnet Yorkshire marathon, and half marathons, and in 2015 she ran a marathon in less than 4 hours for the first time which gave her a “good for age” time for the 50-59 age group for the London marathon. Angela’s blog also features race reviews and lots of advice about nutrition for runners. Angela and I met for the first time at the Snake Lane 10 in 2015, and were reunited there in 2016. @ilovelivingwell
Karen Guttridge is a British runner who lives in Cyprus. She began running in her early 50s, partly because her doctor told her that she had osteopenia, and suggested that exercise could help to reverse it. She also quickly recognised that she was motivated by racing. In her blog, Running Like a Wrinkly, she says “The reason you go running – your WHY – is the single most crucial aspect of your running plan.” Karen’s blog and Facebook page feature lots of pictures from her runs in Cyprus.
Anne-Marie Loader lives in Northern Tasmania, Australia. She started running in 2010 in her late 40s and describes herself as having gone from a “total non-runner to a running devotee”. Her blog, Unsporty Women Can Run, is dedicated to encouraging others to run and Anne-Marie writes “Running has taught me to love my body…and has taken me to new places of happiness and friendships that I didn’t know existed…If I can transform myself into a runner anyone can!” Her running involves lots of hills, lots of races, and a few trips to parkruns too.
Carolin Botterill from Calgary, Alberta has called her blog Accidental Ultra Runner. She began running in her 30s to get fit and lose weight and over time began to set herself harder challenges, motivated by the question “Could I do this?” She travels the world competing in multi-day ultra races and has completed the 230km Jungle Ultra in Peru three times, including in 2016 when Nikki Love was also a competitor. She posts a few articles each year about her races and has also written about how ultra running has helped her to cope with anxiety and depression. She writes: “I still don’t have that “runner’s body”, yet I have discovered that this body I do have is capable of so much more than I ever thought it could be. It has led me on some amazing adventures…. It gets me there. I keep pushing it to see where its limits lie, but so far I have not found those limits.”
Alene Nitzky from Fort Collins, Colorado, started running aged 20 in 1984, and ran her first ultra in 1991. She has run over 100 races of marathon distance or further, including 100km, 100 mile, 24-hour and 48-hour races. She ran the Badwater Ultra for the first time in 2008 and her blog is called Journey to Badwater. Alene is a registered nurse, health coach and cancer exercise trainer. She’s been writing her blog since 2008, and writes about racing and running, healthcare and, occasionally, politics. She writes: “I find myself running longer distances because for me, running is becoming as much of a self-renewing, creative, and spiritual activity as it is physical.” @AleneGoneBad
Sherry Fijas from Buffalo writes a blog called The Wrinkled Runner. Sherry began running at 40 to lose weight. Her husband started running soon afterwards and she became more serious about running as they prepared for their first half marathon together. Sherry writes about her running and publishes recipes. She also has a Youtube channel. She says “I really believe that if you listen to your body, you can do things you didn’t think you would be able to.” @wrinkledrunner1
Shelley English from Northern Nevada began running in her mid-40s, shortly after giving up smoking. Her Life Up and Running website combines stories, tips and inspiration for staying active. She says “Because of running, I’ve made some new lifelong friends. I’ve seen some beautiful and interesting locations I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I feel healthier at 50 than I was at 30.” @Shelleyupandrunning
Kimberly Hatting, author of the Running on the Fly blog, is an enthusiastic distance runner who loves racing. Kim runs outside all year round despite the cold winters in Iowa where she lives. She started running seriously in 2005, extending her distance over time until she ran her first ultra in 2015. The half marathon remains her favourite distance. She races frequently, sometimes 3 or 4 events in a month. Kim says “I love long runs! I am an endurance person and love the challenge of going further and further.” @RunningOnTheFly
“LadyBird” from Mississippi writes a blog called Finding Fabulous at Fifty. She became interested in fitness at 40 and writes about running, fitness and cycling. LadyBird ran her first marathon in 2018. She writes: “My hope and desire is to embrace this new phase of life and all of its beauty, blessings, frustrations and pitfalls with as much patience and humor as possible. Finding “fabulous” at Fifty is my new life mantra!” @tlbird45
Beth Risdon is the author of a very popular running blog called Shut Up + Run. Beth lives in Colorado and turned 50 in 2017. She started running in her early 40s and her first race was a marathon in January 2009. Beth takes a no-holds-barred approach to writing about running and life. “I love to run. I also love to write. I believe in holding nothing back. I believe in telling the truth. I believe in being real. I’m sure it offends some, but I’m also sure it resonates with more.” @ShutUpRun
Mary McManus’s blog is called Adventures of Runnergirl 1953. She’s a prolific writer and her posts combine running and fitness stories, with thoughts on spiritual healing, and poetry. Having experienced paralytic polio and the trauma of abuse in her childhood, Mary says “At 62 years old I feel healthier, more whole and stronger than I ever have before in my life. My hope is to inspire others with a message that whatever the challenge, whatever the goal, you can always find a way to go the distance!” Mary recently met Jacqueline Hansen at a race and it was Jacqueline who told me about Mary’s blog. @runnergirl1953
Deb, the author of the Deb Runs blog, ran at school and college. She decided to run a marathon as her 40th birthday present. Her time in that first marathon in 1997 was fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon and she run over 40 marathons since, as well as many other races. She works in the fitness industry and leads a running group. Her frequent blog posts cover a wide range of topics including race reviews, running tips and boot camp workouts. @debrunsFIT
The author of the Chocolaterunsjudy blog describes herself as “an older, slower runner with a passion for half marathons and chocolate”. Her blog features lots of recipes as well as her reflections on running. She lost a lot of weight in her late forties and took up running. She is now on a mission to run a Half Marathon in every state and runs 2 or 3 a year. She says: “If you think you’re too old, too fat, too slow to run, I’m here to tell you differently, to cheer you on every step of the way & hopefully to sometimes inspire you.”
Taking the Long Way Home is “a running blog by someone who doesn’t want to act her age”. Wendy Rivard uses her blog to link up with other women running bloggers. Wendy has been running for more than 20 years and her favourite distance is the half marathon. She is using cross fit techniques in her training and finding that the increase in her strength benefits her running. Wendy was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2016 and her site includes useful links to resources and support. @oldrunningmom
The HoHo Runs blog is written by Holly who describes herself as a “Half Marathon Fanatic”. Having decided to get fit in her forties she was impressed when her sister started running and decided to take it up herself in 2008. She ran her first half marathon in 2011 and has now run 36 in total. “HoHo” is her “granny” name.
Darlene Cardillo was already in her fifties when she started running in 2008 and says she was “searching for the Fountain of Youth”. Seven years later she’s now in her sixties and still setting personal records. This is even more impressive when you learn that she broke her ankle in 2011 and needed 6 months to recover. Darlene loves to race and would race every weekend if she could. Read about her races and other running adventures in her blog.
Linda Tschaepe Flynn lives in Western New York and started her running journey at the age of 49 when she followed the Couch to 5k programme to lose weight. Her See Linda Run blog explains how she got the running bug and how she coped with injury (stress fractures). At the age of 50 Linda decided to complete a half marathon race in all 50 US states. She’s already run 8 half marathons and has lots more dates in her diary for 2015 and 2016. @linflin963
Libby James is a runner in her seventies who has set national age group records and received numerous awards. In January 2013 she set the age group world record in the Disney World Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida, beating the previous record by 4 minutes. She says “In the back of my mind, I’d always thought I’d quit when I turned 70, but when the time came I was having too much fun.” Libby is a writer and her blog features recent articles she has written about running. You can hear an interview with Libby in a Marathontalk podcast from 2013.
Don’t forget to let me know about your favourite blogs by women runners over 50!