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Grandma rules: This 75-year-old Pinoy marathoner shows it’s never too late to get active

By Brooke Villanueva Published Oct 31, 2022 5:51 pm

Super grandma!

A 75-year-old woman named Rosalinda Pendon Ogsimer became the talk of the town recently for finishing her fastest 10K run ever. From the looks of it in the viral photo and this incredible feat, it seemed that she’s been running her whole life. Interestingly enough, however, she only started doing so when she reached her seniority. 

After some convincing from her eldest son, Ogsimer agreed to give running a try when she was just 65 years old. “At first, I was just walking around the Manila Memorial and little by little, with short run na until I got used to it and he asked me to join a 5K event,” she recalled with PhilSTAR L!fe, musing on how unpleasant it turned out for her later on. “It was a bad experience because my whole body was in pain. I told my son I would never do it again.” 

But her son didn’t give up just yet. “Persistent” in making her live an active lifestyle, he asked her to do a recovery run two days later, which she initially rejected. After a long talk about the many wonders it could do to her overall health, she changed her mind and decided to get back to running.

“It went on until we started doing regular training na and joining some events from 5K, 10K, to 21K. Hindi ito biglaan—konti-konti lang ang pag-increase ng km,” she said. 

Aside from the friends she has gained in the running community along the way, she also particularly found herself loving the feeling she gets after every run. “To make the story short, nasanay o nagustuhan ko na kaya naka-full marathon ako of 42K eventually,” she said.

Ogsimer joined The Bull Runner Dream Marathon (42K) in 2015 as well as the Ultra Marathon from Tagaytay to Balayan, Batangas, where she was able to complete a 50K run in eight hours.

Her fastest 10K ever with athletics community Pinoy Fitness, among many other running triumphs, took years in the making. While she doesn’t follow a regular diet, she makes it a point to run three times a week—every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday—no matter the circumstances. “Kahit pandemic, hindi ako nagmimiss. Kahit mabagal, basta makatakbo. Kapag naumpisahan mong ihinto, para ka na namang nag-umpisa e.” 

Even on her recovery days, Ogsimer squeezes in some walking and running sessions into her days. “When I go out to buy something, I like to walk and run only. I don’t take any ride basta naka-rubber shoes.” 

What’s her secret of 100% commitment and success in running? It’s the same thing that applies to work and everyday life: “I don’t compete with anyone. I just enjoy what I’m doing and at the same time, motivating and inspiring newbies.” 

At the end of the day, she adds, “It’s also about having the determination to do it religiously, making time for it, persevering, and believing in yourself.”