Profiling the Boston Marathon’s Octogenarian Runners

A runner

Tony Cerminaro

Age: 80

Residence: Jermyn, Pa.  

Number of marathons completed: 106

Age when running career began: 50

Occupation: Retired welder 

As a national record holder, Tony Cerminaro wants to do more than just finish in Boston.   

“I want to see if I can win my age group,” he says. “That’s my goal.” 

In October, Cerminaro, a 24-time Boston finisher, ran an impressive 3 hours and 57 minutes at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pa., breaking the national age group record for 80 to 84-year-olds. 

He’s aiming to run 4 hours and 5 minutes in Boston.

“You never know,” he says. “It depends on the day, how you feel. I just go and I run.”

Cerminaro started running 30 years ago when a friend badgered him into tagging along on a run. It was a hot and miserable day and, after they finished, Cerminaro told his friend he was done running.  

“You have to take care of your body. What you eat means a lot.”

But he gave it another chance, went to a race and has been hooked ever since. 

Cerminaro, who runs 60 miles a week, has completed a whopping 107 marathons, 13 50-milers and countless other races. 

“I love to be out there running,” he says. “When you get done, it makes you feel good, especially after a long run.” 

Cerminaro credits his vegetarian diet and his wife’s good cooking with keeping him healthy.  

“You have to take care of your body,” he says. “What you eat means a lot.”

His advice for other senior runners is simple: Don’t be discouraged by your age.

“Usually I’m the oldest guy in the race,” he says. “You just go out and do your best, even if you are older.”

 

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About the Author

Theresa Juva-Brown

Theresa Juva-Brown is a New York City-based journalist and former Gannett reporter who has covered a variety of topics, including breaking news, transportation and health. Theresa ran cross-country and track competitively for The University at Albany and has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University. She contributes to ACTIVE.com, Competitor Running, and Runner's World/Zelle. Follow her on Twitter at @TJuva.
Theresa Juva-Brown is a New York City-based journalist and former Gannett reporter who has covered a variety of topics, including breaking news, transportation and health. Theresa ran cross-country and track competitively for The University at Albany and has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University. She contributes to ACTIVE.com, Competitor Running, and Runner's World/Zelle. Follow her on Twitter at @TJuva.

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