At Moms on the Run, one of our mottos is we have classes for all levels and all ages. Our inspiring member this month, Stillwater Moms on the Run member Kay Stinson, is testimony that age is just a number. Now 74, she recently finished her fourteenth marathon — running her first at the age of 60!
"Kay has been an inspiration to so many," raves Stillwater franchise owner Beth Johnston. "She shows us that age is just a number. She comes to class ready to take on any challenge. Her teammates are always amazed at her energy. She is one fierce lady!"
Read on for more of our conversation with Kay and learn why she's our inspiring member of the month.
Q: How long have you been a member of Stillwater Moms on the Run? Were you a runner before MOTR and/or what motivated you to join?
A: I joined Moms on the Run the first time in 2013 because a girlfriend I graduated with was joining with her daughter and wanted someone else "our age" to go with her. We both planned on only walking but ended up doing intervals which surprised both of us since neither of us had been runners before. I quit when she did a few years later but then rejoined last year because I wanted to see if I could finish Grandma's Marathon in under 6 hours and knew that I would have to run some to do that.
Q: We’ve been told you ran your first Grandma’s marathon at the age of 60, and now you’ve just completed your 14th? Tell us about this.
A: I did do my first Grandma's Marathon at 60 and completed my 14th one in June. I picked that race for my first one since at that point I was only walking and needed a race with a time limit over six hours. I have only done two other marathons and they were the Superior Hiking Trail Marathon in northern Minnesota. There are advantages to getting old as I am currently the two-time record holder of the oldest female to finish that race, which I think is hilarious. I am signed up to do it again in September.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone (no matter what age) about starting to run?
A: My advice to anyone starting to run at an older age — or any age actually — is to start out slow and build up gradually. And to join a group like Moms on the Run where there is a coach to talk you through the rough patches. Intervals were key for me since it is pretty easy to run for 15 seconds and walk for 3 minutes but that is all it takes to get you going.
Q: Tell us a little about you (your family, hobbies, etc.)
A: I am recently divorced and living alone for the first time in my entire life — and loving it! I have two sons and daughters-in-law and two grandchildren who live close and I see frequently. I was a plant manager in foundries for 30 years and then worked in various part time jobs after I retired. I have a big garden and do a lot of canning, love to cook, am a hiking fanatic (hiked the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail in the summers of 2019 and 2020), camp, kayak, fish — pretty much anything outdoors.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: I actually rejoined because Beth was still the owner of the Stillwater MOTR and I think she is fabulous. She has watched over me like a mother hen so that I don't push myself too hard and get injured. Plus, she makes it fun!