Running Wild: Peggy’s Love for Marathons

by Samantha Wolfe

Peggy Strang is a daily visitor at the Hockessin Athletic Club alongside her husband, Tom. The pair of them have many stories to tell of their lives together; they have raised four children, moved all around the United States, and have challenged themselves to maintain an active lifestyle. Peggy has spent her life as a loving wife, mother, and now grandmother, an education professional, and an avid runner – and she is certainly not looking to slow down anytime soon! She has completed over 70 marathons and an incredible number of other races as well.

Peggy started her teaching career in 1973 as an elementary school teacher in St. Louis. As she and her family moved throughout the years, her teaching career advanced, too!

She eventually went on to work with middle and high school students and finished her teaching career as an English teacher for students with special needs at our local Alexis I. Dupont High School from 2004-2010.

Peggy’s passion grew to focus on special education regulations and students’ needs as she worked as a special education coordinator at the First State School through July of 2017. There, she developed individual education plans and curriculum for students while overseeing day-to-day school routines. While she considers herself retired, Peggy is still asked back from time to time to help.

Peggy herself went to a Catholic high school where they did not have any sports teams, so her enthusiasm for running was developed much later. In the early 1970’s, Peggy started running with one of her neighbors as a pastime with some camaraderie. However, the sport quickly became something both Peggy and Tom were interested in, so they sought out the Jeff Galloway Training Program in Richmond, Virginia. This training program splits participants into teams based on their desired mile time, and participants proceed through the program alongside runners with a common goal. Each team would run together as early as 5:00 – 7:00 am many days of the week!

Not long after they started training, Peggy and Tom began participating in local races throughout Richmond and surrounding areas. Richmond hosts at least one race every October, whether it be a 5-mile distance or a marathon, and Peggy and Tom have completed many of these races. One of the best memories they have in their running career is finishing the 5-mile race with all four of their children in 1987!

Peggy and Tom have so many stories to share of the different races that they have completed. Tom was featured on SportsCenter during the Lynchburg 10-mile run; their first marathon was the Shamrock Marathon in 1992; Peggy has completed four Boston Marathons, three New York City Marathons, the Chicago Marathon, and the Philadelphia Marathon in 2009; together they raced the Mayor’s Marathon in the Midnight Sun in Anchorage, Alaska. Tom set himself out for the challenge of racing a half marathon in every state in 2010 – he just needs to complete a race in Illinois, and he will have finished all 50 states! Another special race for Peggy was completing a half marathon with Tom and two of their children in Disney World in 2013; Peggy woke up the next day to complete an additional marathon which is known as the “Goofy Challenge” in the RunDisney community.

While Peggy has gone on so many amazing adventures thanks to her running career, she is ready to focus on her personal health. She now spends most of her time at the gym working on strength and balance – Tom is teaching her how to lift weights to help her train. Her goal is to build muscle mass and to keep her body in great shape. Peggy hopes to stay active as long as possible, and for that she must stay healthy.

When she is not in Delaware working out or headed out for a race, Peggy enjoys traveling to visit her children and grandchildren. Peggy and Tom are hoping to travel to many state parks to hike and explore all that nature has to offer. Throughout their travels to different races, Tom states “you really have to appreciate the diversity of the United States of America;” not just through the people, but the natural elements that they have encountered as well.

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