For Their 57th Anniversary This 80-Year-Old Couple Ran A Marathon Together
The best love is made better through adventures. For Joe and Kay O’Regan, after 57 years together, the adventure is still hot. In 1986 the couple ran their first marathon together. Thirty years later, and now in their 80’s, the couple just keep running and recently completed the Cork City Marathon in New York.
To top off the momentous occasion, the pair held hands as they crossed the finish line, a clear sign of how strong their bond remains. As you can see, not much has changed between these two since their original marathon together.
For those who don’t know, a normal marathon is 26 miles and 365 yards. The 80-year-old lovebirds won their age group in New York, finishing the marathon in just over five hours.
Asked about the feat after the race, Kay remarked, “In Ireland there’s a saying, ‘those who pray together, stay together.’ We say, ‘those who run together, stay together.’”
It’s hard to argue with that. If running together means 57 years of happiness, the we should all take the advice of Joe and Kay. Clearly they have this love thing figured out.
Since running their first marathon together in 1986, the couple have run a number of marathons together and apart. Joe has been in 29 marathons while Kay has participated in 113. You read that right. Kay has run 113 marathons in the last 30 years. That averages out to almost four marathons a year. Wow!
That’s an impressive number of competitions. Many hobbyists are proud when they cross the 5 or 10 marathon milestone. If you do the math Kay has run nearly 3,000 miles during marathons plus thousands more she has likely run while training or jogging around for fun. She didn’t even start running until she was 49-years-old which makes her running distance all the more impressive.
Shockingly enough, the power running couple didn’t even get into the sport until they turned 49-years-old together. Their son, Sintan, introduced them to the adrenaline pumping activity.
Now Joe and Kay can’t get enough.
Originally getting his parents to run was a struggle, and the rugby playing young man had to challenge his parents to run in the rain. Kay recalls, “he dared me to go out and run around the neighborhood in the rain with him.”
Kay couldn’t be happier with the decision he made. In 1993 he ran his personal best marathon, completing the Melbourne Marathon in three hours and 35 minutes.
Retiring in 1997, the couple joined a running club to stay active and meet new people. But no matter what friends they make, the bond they cherish most is the love they share for each other.
Since finishing the Cork City Marathon together, the couple claims to be done running marathons. We will see if they stick to their word, as they also admit running together makes them, for lack of a better phrase, want to keep running.