Daily Runner: This Energetic 67-Year-Old Crushes 80-Mile Weeks

Gail Edwards wasn't always a daily runner.

As a young mom, it seemed like there wasn't time for that. 

πŸ‘ΆYou know...not between meal prep, diaper duty, housework, shopping, school activities, and everything else.

She liked being a mom, homemaker, and working when the kids were older, but the void of exercise and self-care didn't sit right with her.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ"I needed something for myself," says Gail. 

"I needed a way to just get away and take a break for a little while. So I started running, and I just got hooked."

πŸ‘‰Think you're too old or out of shape to be a daily runner?

It's never too late to start.

Gail started out running just a few miles at a park near her home, but it turned into something a lot bigger.

Here's what happened...

When the weather is good, Gail Edwards runs 9 miles a day on the Springwater Trail that stretches 21 miles from Boring to Portland, Ore.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈHow far are you running today?

More than a year ago, I noticed this older woman running along the Springwater Trail near Gresham, Ore.

  • Fun fact: The Eastwind Running Club hosts the Boring Marathon race series on the Springwater Trail in September. Yes, Boring, Ore., is an actual town.πŸ˜‚

On frequent Saturday-long runs, she was always there...consistent, moving forward...determined.

πŸ‘‹Runner's etiquette = smile and wave.

And that's what I did for months.

But the ever-curious journalist in me knows...Every Runner Has a Story...

  • Me: "You're out here every Saturday. How far are you running today?"
  • Gail: "I run nine miles every morning, and take a walk with my husband in the afternoon."

Sure, lots of people run.

But the daily runner is far more rare.

Gail's running habit started a long time ago. And at 67 years old, she's still going, typically logging 80 miles a week with a daily long run and afternoon walk.

Gail Edwards ran her first marathon about 30 years ago at the Portland Marathon, in Portland, Ore.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈThe evolution of a daily runner

Gail started running the 2-mile Glendover Nature Trail in northeast Portland when her two boys were in school.

"I met some really nice people," says Gail.

"And then I started thinking about running a marathon."

But something bigger than a 26.2-mile finish motivated her to be a daily runner...

πŸ˜€Something she realized, she can't live without...

"When you run, it helps you solve problems," says Gail. "I run in the morning, and use the time to help me plan the day."

"There's something about being out there by yourself that's really powerful. And it just makes me happy."

😍To  make her running habit a little sweeter...

Her husband has been her biggest fan...

  • Encouraging her to make time for a daily run
  • Going for a walk with her in the afternoon, and...
  • Cheering her on at a long list of marathons and races over the last 30-plus years.

"It took him a minute to get used to all the running, but he knows it makes me happy," says Gail.

"Now if I'm a little grumpy, he's the one who says, 'Maybe you should go for a run."

Gail Edwards has finished 36 marathons, including the Portland Marathon, Boston Marathon, Timberline Marathon, Maui Marathon, and many others.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈRun a marathon...or how about 36 marathons?

Gail ramped up her mileage as daily runner and signed up for her first marathon: The Portland Marathon.

She made friends with the owner of the Portland Running Company, where she, learned a lot about...

  • How to choose a running shoe
  • Shoe rotation
  • Fueling and hydration for longer runs
  • Tapering, training, and racing
  • And more + served as a Portland Running Company Ambassador

Going into her first marathon years ago, she kind of thought it would be a one-and-done experience, but that's not what happened...

"The camaraderie among other marathon runners was incredible," says Gail.

"And there were so many people on the course who showed up to cheer on the runners."

"Everything about the Portland Marathon is amazing...the food, the finish line, and everything they do for the runners."

"I've done the Portland Marathon quite a few times, and it's still one of my favorites."

Boston or bust...

That first marathon finish got her hooked on chasing more 26.2-mile finishes, including...

  • The Boston Marathon
  • The Maui Marathon
  • The Timberline Marathon
  • And many others

She's finished the Boston Marathon multiple times, including the time she walked the entire course...

"The third time I ran the Boston Marathon, something happened," says Gail.

  • She got injured just two weeks before the race.
  • But with registration, travel plans and months of training, she wasn't about to give up.

"I just decided, I'm going to go and see what I can do," says Gail.

"That year, I walked the entire Boston Marathon. It was hard. It's the only marathon I've ever walked."

"I've never cancelled or quit a marathon. I just told myself, 'You can do this."

Gail Edwards finished the Maui Marathon. She also mastered the art of planning family trips + finding a race to run.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈRun + travel adventures

If you're a daily runner like Gail, chances are pretty good you don't want to miss a day even on a business trip or family vacation.


Over the years, she's fit in a long list of races (like the Maui Marathon) and runs while traveling to places like...

🌎Baltimore, Md.

  • "I got to see a lot of Baltimore when I traveled. It's a great running city with a lot of cool things to see."

🌎San Francisco, Calif.

  • "We used to go to San Francisco pretty regularly. One time I ran all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and back to downtown, and I was on a time crunch to catch a plane."

🌎Anaheim, Calif.

  • I went to Anaheim for a tradeshow once, and that have this nice long trail that runs along the ocean. You can't ask for a better view than that."

While Gail and her husband don't travel as much as they used to, she racked up a lot of miles, races and memories mixing travel with running.

Gail Edwards runs 9 miles a day on the Springwater Trail during good weather. And if it's not, she hits the treadmill. She also walks a few miles every day with her husband.

80 miles a week and still going...

Gail balanced family, work, and running for years (her boys are 42 and 38 now).

Today, the schedule isn't as jam-packed as it used to me. But she's never been one to sit around

"I've always been sort of a hyper person," says Gail.

"It took me a minute to relax a little after we retired. But I still like to have a plan to start the day."

Her daily plan includes:

  • In the morning: Running a 9-mile out-and-back route on the Springwater Trail
  • In the afternoon: Walking a few miles at Powell Butte and other local spots with her husband

"On average, I do about 80 miles a week," says Gail.

"I've always been very active, and I just want to feel good and live a good lifestyle for as long as possible."

Gail Edwards logs 80 miles a week in the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈFun facts about Gail Edwards

Average miles per week

  • 80

Number of marathons completed

  • 36. I did some triathlons, too.

Favorite running shoe

  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36. They changed this shoe quite a bit after the 36. I like this version, and I have a new pair in a box ready to go when it's time to rotate the ones I'm wearing. My favorite pair is bright pink. I also ran in Sauconys for years.

Favorite route

  • 9-mile out-and-back on the Springwater Trail in Gresham, Ore.

Strangest place you've ran...

  • Try running on a cruise ship.

My diet...

  •  I like to eat whatever I want. I don't diet. If I want to have a burger and fries with a beer, that's what I'm going to have. Sometimes I eat pizza. But I only eat three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't snack or eat between meals EVER.

Why do you run every day?

  • When I wake up in the morning, I can't wait to get out the door. Being outside puts a smile on my face. If I miss a morning run, it will haunt me and I'll be in a bad mood the rest of the day. I have to do this in the morning.  It completes my day.


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Evan Jensen
SANDY, Oregon
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I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM...


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