People Who Kick Buts: Barbara Macklow
When you’re stressing your body and pushing yourself physically, especially in a beautiful environment, it gives peace of mind. Running long distance is like therapy.
- Born on June 13, 1752;
- Lives in Bellingham, Washington.
- The 96-pound great grandmother is one of only two women in United States history to have finished a 100 miler in her 70s.
- She is the oldest woman to run both the JFK 50-Mile Run in Maryland and the Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Run in North Carolina.
- In 1975, shortly after the family sold their boat and settled in Washington State, Barbara’s 11-year-old daughter was swept downriver during a family rafting trip and drowned. Macklow was 41 years old. She and her husband split soon after.
- Barbara found herself raising four kids alone on a shoestring budget. She worked the overnight shift as an ER nurse and kept animals on their five-acre farm.
- After 10 years of mentally taxing and physically exhausting herself, running became a reprieve from her grief — a sort of balm for her soul.
- At 62, Barbara ran her first marathon, in 4:36.
- You run the first 50 miles with your legs, and the second 50 with your brain. But the first hour and the last hour are the hardest.