“Those who run together stay together." ~Kay O’Regan
Kay and Joe O'Regan celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary by crossing the finish line of the 2016 Cork City Marathon hand-in-hand. Kay and Joe each wore the No. 80 and finished with the fastest times,, 5 hours and 23 minutes, in their age groups. They are the picture of relationship, fitness, and life goals together with inspiration all wrapped up in one adorable couple! #relationshipfitnesslifegoals
And this wasn’t the first time they crossed a finish line hand-in-hand 30 years ago Kay and Joe also crossed the finish line of the London Marathon in 1986 hand-in-hand when they were 49 years old. Starting later than most at running, that was their first marathon.
The couple was inspired to start running at the age of 49 thanks to their son, Sintan, who is 56 years old now. At that time, they were living in London and Sintan was complaining about having to practice for rugby in the rain. Kay told him not to let rain stop him and Sintan dared her to run with him, and she did.
Kay and Joe remind us it’s never too late to start something healthy. Even though they didn’t start running until 50 this is Kay's 113th marathon and Joe's 29th. Kay has also been on the winner's podium. She's won the Irish national marathon championships in multiple age groups, and her finish time at Cork City now makes her the fastest 80-year-old woman in the U.K.
For this most recent marathon, Joe grabbed Kay’s hand more than a half-mile from the finish line, and he held it the rest of the race. And having his wife by his side helped. Kay said Joe picked up the pace once they started holding hands. "He seemed to get a second wind there," she said. "We raced up to the finish, really. We were able to sprint."
Joe said he is surprised by all the attention they received from spectators at the finish line, "We aren't special or extraordinary. As far as we are concerned, running is just something we do."
Even though the couple plans on this being their last marathon, Kay added, "Running is a part of our lives. And it hopefully will be for a few more years."