Mary Asmundson Dunbar ’64 ran her first marathon in 2009 at age 67. In 2013, she qualified for the Boston Marathon. She hopes to finish in the top three of her age group at the 2017 Boston Marathon. She has a few winning ideas about setting goals.

START WITH A GOAL THAT IS AMBITIOUS, REALISTIC AND CONCRETE. “I had been running since 1976, but I hadn’t run races,” Dunbar says. “Running a marathon was on my bucket list when I retired in 2007; I wanted to run it before I was 70.” A combination of running and walking helped her get to the finish line.

GET A GOAL BUDDY. “I ran my first marathon, the San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon, with my daughter-in-law.”

LOOK FOR WAYS TO BUILD ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. When Dunbar finished her first marathon in under six hours, she realized she was close to the qualifying standard for the Boston Marathon. “When you start doing something, other doors start opening. You see new ways forward,” she says.

RECOGNIZE THE POWER OF STAYING THE COURSE. “Age takes its toll on people running marathons,” Dunbar says. “I don’t want any competition. I want to be the one who outlasts
the competition.”

SAQ, Fall 2016