6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Devon Life today click here

Inspirational women in Devon: Peggy Crome

PUBLISHED: 11:52 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 18 April 2017

Peggy didn't tackle her first serious competitive race until 1982

Peggy didn't tackle her first serious competitive race until 1982

Matt Austin

In the latest in her series throughout 2017 profiling inspirational women, Kate Haskell talks to runner Peggy Crome

As I make my way to meet this month’s Inspirational Woman, I ponder to myself as to whether I might do some long-overdue exercise when I get home. Much internal debate later, I decide I might be a bit too tired.

After chatting with Peggy Crome for an hour though, I not only feel ashamed at my laziness but have also discovered a renewed enthusiasm for my impending run that night.

I’m greeted at Peggy’s house by the sight of her fully togged up in exercise gear and happily jogging up and down the road for our photographer. Once inside the house, I can’t help but spy trophies stating ‘Ironman Winner’ and countless medals hanging from the ceiling and I realise this is no ordinary 73-year-old woman; this is superwoman!

It hasn’t always been the case though as Peggy freely admits: “I was a heavy smoker, really addicted, so much so I planned my day around when I was going to have my next cigarette. I was a PE teacher but I wouldn’t have said I was that fit!”

A chance conversation in the staff room back in 1982 changed her life completely, as Peggy explains: “A colleague said they were going to do a marathon and I said I quite fancied doing that as well. Hearing the others in the room snigger at the thought of me running a marathon made me determined to do it.”

So out went the bad habits and in came the Lycra and the training regime. At first a gentle run up the road and back left Peggy breathless and tired but, little by little, the run got longer and easier; before she knew it, she was running her first half marathon. From then on, she had a new addiction: running and winning. Her first triathlon, however, was more than a little daunting with 57 men and only two women. Peggy laughs as she tells me: “I was so scared of being last out of all those men but in the end I wasn’t!”

Her first World Triathlon was in 1994 where she came 18th out of 36 and what started out as a bit of fun became serious. Even retirement didn’t slow her down; in fact, it just intensified her passion and allowed more time for training. Her schedule only allows one day off a week but it doesn’t always mean a strict diet: “I’m not into diets or protein shakes and the like. I love my chips too much! I always believe that if the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything! If you don’t balance the food taken in with exercise, it will linger around the waist.”

Some 33 years after her first marathon Peggy is still competing and represents Great Britain for her age group in triathlons which involve a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13-mile run. Yes, you read that correctly and may I refer you back to the fact that she is 73 years old? Age is but a number and a state of mind but to me this determination and level of commitment is truly inspiring.

Her family, she says, are great levellers: “Outside you may be a world champion but at home, whilst they are proud, they keep my feet on the ground! My granddaughter Hannah, however, is just 13 years old but challenged me to a bike ride from John O’ Groats to Land’s End. So, we did it over the summer holidays last year and raised thousands for charity in the process.”

So, as you sit on the sofa reading this magazine, perhaps feeling a little guilty, why not get up, slip on the trainers and get out there? You might just bump into Peggy!

Who Inspires Peggy?

“My granddaughter certainly inspired me and kicked me into gear to do the bike. Hopefully I will inspire her to do a triathlon one day!

“Chrissie Wellington - World Ironman winner - is also someone I look up to even though she is younger than me!”

Inspirational Quote of the month

“The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

- Cecil B. DeMille

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Mon, 09:06

David J Williams looks back at an era when thousands flocked to watch football players at Plymouth’s Home Park…but it wasn’t the men they were cheering on

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

51-year-old Neil Witt will be attempting to break the world record on June 21 in support of Hospiscare and Cancer Research UK

Read more
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Every month Lydia Tewkesbury heads to one of Devon’s many beautiful locations to see how you can best spend a day out. This month she headed to Teignmouth

Read more
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teenager Liam Landymore credits his beloved pet Charlie with saving his life. Chrissy Harris meets a dog and his owner using their extraordinary bond to help others... Photos: Steve Haywood

Read more
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This month marks a milestone for Riverford Organic Farmers, the multi-million pound organic veg box company, as its owner hands over ownership to its staff | Words: Catherine Courtenay  Pictures: Matt Austin

Read more
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Change is in the air in Torbay. With an influx of big plans, bright minds and cash investment, this beautiful corner of Devon has the chance to shine once again. Chrissy Harris finds out more

Read more
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to Temporary Chief Superintendent for Devon, Sam De Reya

Read more
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The revival of a Devon town’s cider making heritage was all down to a ‘beautiful accident’, discovers CATHERINE COURTENAY as she chats to Barny Butterfield. Pictures: Matt Austin

Read more
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Devon has produced some of the world’s best talent when it comes to film, music, sport, TV or pretty much any other field you can think of. Here are 18 celebrities that have shaped popular culture in their own unique way

Read more
Monday, May 21, 2018

A former personal banker was on maternity leave when she discovered a hidden talent for turning cakes into astonishing works of art. Words: Chrissy Harris | Photos: Steven Haywood

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

DAVID FITZGERALD talks to the man who has never left Devon far from his view during a wide-ranging and controversial career in film

Read more
Monday, May 14, 2018

Former medic for the Special Boat Service, Steel Johnson from Plymouth, has swapped the Royal Marines for magic. This is his story, writes Fran McElhone

Read more
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

This month a true Exeter Chiefs legend will bring down the curtain on his illustrious playing career…but it’s not the end of his journey at Sandy Park, as JAMES CHUBB discovers

Read more
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

From the deserts of Egypt to the beaches of North Devon, there’s a new face at the helm of a Devon art gallery and museum, as CATHERINE COURTENAY discovers

Read more
 
A+ South & South West
 
Great British Holidays advert link
 
Pure Weddings advert link
 
South West Life advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Local Business Directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search