CHRISTMAS OFFER 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

Fri, 11:30

Devon Life received this heartfelt letter from Mr Michael Thompson, of Torbay, which is felt particularly poignant to share with our website audience at this time of year

Read more
Wed, 16:20

Bursting with festive inspiration, KATE WILLIAMS seeks out the best presents for a perfect Devon Christmas

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon has had more than its fair share of high achievers over the years but how well do you know our county’s singers, authors, sportspeople, explorers and TV personalities? This is an edited version of a quiz compiled by MARGARET BRECKNELL in the December 2018 issue of Devon Life

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

PHILIP DALLING recalls two Exmoor legends who shared a deep love of the moor and its natural resources, and gained national fame through the media

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the month when we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, STEVE ROBERTS highlights the terrible cost in human lives it inflicted on the county of Devon

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

There is more to Georgia Toffolo than an award-winning TV show, as HOLLY EELLS discovers

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Striving to be the best in the world, homegrown Devon professional squash player Lyell Fuller is seeking sponsorship to help reach his goal. KATE WILLAMS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tavistock Rugby Club in Devon is celebrating after being awarded a grant of £2,500 to fund private showers for referees at their Sandy Park ground, as part of rural energy provider Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, also known as The Black Farmer, tells KATE WILLIAMS about his new book, Jeopardy, encouraging the embracing of risk to enrich life

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As five members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton celebrate 125 years of collective volunteering, we look back on their time with the organisation

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CAROLYN SEAGER reveals how long after her mother’s death she discovered her amazing career in the service of her country

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more

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

Property Search