Courtesy of Jane Gregorie

Jane Gregorie was a 63-year-old breast cancer survivor when she laced up her sneakers for her first road race. Her friend was organizing the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event, and she had suggested that Gregorie walk it with other survivors and supporters. “I said, ‘Heck! I’m going to run it,’ and I’d never run in my life!” So Gregorie ran the race and went home immediately after, where she got a call from her friend who’d organized the race. “She said, ‘What happened to you? You came in second!’ And that’s the beginning of my running.”

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Gregorie may have missed that awards ceremony, but the 83-year-old runner has picked up plenty of medals since, in everything from Charleston’s 10-kilometer Cooper River Bridge Run to the Kiawah Island Half Marathon. "Most of the time, I won simply because there was nobody else in my age group," Gregorie says. It probably has something to do with her 12-minute mile, too, though Gregorie is quick to dismiss her talent for running as something she’s earned: “When I started running, I could just do it. It worked for me. I don’t have knee pain, hip pain, or ankle pain. I’ve got little legs, and I can just run…sometimes, I think your body is just built for a certain thing, and I guess mine is built for a little bit of running.” But if your body’s not built for running, says Gregorie, go for a walk instead. "Walking is wonderful! You're moving, you're out in the fresh air, and it gives you a chance to commune with nature." It’s that meditative quality of being out in nature that keeps Gregorie on the move all these years later. “Running is a great time to think and get your life in order, so that’s what I do.”