Bruce Frankel

Author of the new book "What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life? True Stories of Finding Success, Passion, and New Meaning in the Second Half of Life."


February 10, 2010

Last May, U.S. Masters Champion runner Margie Stoll confessed (under duress), as I finished reporting for What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life?, that one of her craven goals was to be ranked among the top three 65+ U.S. women runners.

True to form, she wasted no time achieving her ambition. She’s ranked #3 in the Running Times Masters of the Year awards in the magazine’s March issue. She added to that accomplishment by finishing first in her age group on Feb. 7 in the USA Track & Field Half Marathon Championships in Melbourne, Florida, one of the nation’s most prominent races.

“I was very happy to move up from last year’s honorable mention status, if only to see my name in bolder print,” Margie said by phone.

A master of modesty as well, Margie downplayed her national half-marathon victory. “I had a disappointing race,” she said of her finish in 2 hour 32 second time, four minutes slower than last year but 10 minutes faster that her closest competitor.

Margie, of course, would never mention the strong winds that buffeted runners as they crossed two long bridges. “All the elite runners said their times were not as good as last year,” said Don Lein, chairman of the USATF Masters Long Distance Running Committee, who was in attendance.

With the help of his wife Marian, Lein is responsible the Running Times annual rankings based, he explained, on a compilation of on age-grade percentage— the percentage of the approximate world record level, the variety of distances run, the number of races, and a willingness to compete against championship-caliber runners in prestigious events.

Like all older elite runners, Margie’s challenge now is to lose as little time each years as possible. And, as she would say, to keep her name in bold type. Her many admirers have few doubts about her ability to do so. On the Nashville Striders message board, on Tuesday CharlieT wrote, “Margie, you are my hero!!! Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll stay in BOLD print.”
(See Excerpts. Click on Margie Stoll’s name.)

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