<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
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


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Tue, 12:03

A very familiar face from our television screens is coming to the county soon in a completely different guise to his acting work

Read more
Friday, March 9, 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
Thursday, March 8, 2018

From nurses to TV stars, chefs to campaigners and runners to cider makers, Devon’s women are some of the most inspirational people you’ll meet in day-to-day life. We celebrate 12 who’ve made a mark on our county’s cultural and social landscape

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A unique steamship is being restored at Bideford for a new educational role, writes Owen Jones

Read more
Friday, March 2, 2018

Rural communities throughout the UK could be eligible to receive funding via the Calor Rural Community Fund from energy provider Calor

Read more
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Photographer Lee Pengelly urges everyone to get out onto our moors at night and looks upwards with their camera

Read more
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Branscombe residents have seen it all over the years: smugglers, ghosts and one of the most extraordinary shipwrecks the world has ever seen. Chrissy Harris meets a woman helping to preserve the history of this fascinating village…

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The South West Coast Path has led to romance for many couples. Now Becky Millington wonders, will she be next?

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

We reveal the finalists of this year’s Devon Life Landscape Artist of the Year. All finalists will now display their work at Mayne Gallery in March with the winner revealed on opening night

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A new fashion exhibition at a landmark Devon National Trust property will give a timely insight into the links between fashion and suffrage

Read more
Monday, February 5, 2018

A century after the Representation of the People Act was passed, author Tracey Glasspool reveals how the campaign for women’s suffrage had been bitterly contested in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

They get to pose the difficult questions and put interviewees on the spot every day in ITV’s regional news programme, Westcountry News, but especially for Devon Life Kate Haskell turns the tables and gets the lowdown on presenters Ian Axton and Kylie Pentelow

Read more
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Recently we covered 13 celebrities you never knew were from Devon, because Devon is home to so many famous faces here are eight more that we missed…

Read more
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Founder member of Police Dog Hogan, James Studholme, tells Judy Spiers the story of how the country band got their most distinctive moniker

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

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