DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fifty years after she ran and won the first Dallas Marathon, a 74-year-old North Texas woman is lacing up her sneakers for the Dallas Half Marathon this weekend.

(courtesy: Facebook)

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“Just make sure I say, I’m an average runner,” said Annabelle Corboy, who lives in Fort Worth.

Corboy may claim her athletic talent is nothing special, but her decades of passion for competition says otherwise.

She first got interested in running in the late 1960s.

“It was an inspiring time when people were looking at how to make their lives better by being more active,” she said. “So I started jogging.”

Her newfound love really took off when she went to graduate school at the University of Illinois, which had a conditioning program that trained runners. Corboy wanted to continue competing when she moved back to DFW.

“I ran the first White Rock marathon, now the Dallas Marathon, in 1971,” said Corboy. “I was the first woman finisher, and I was actually the only woman finisher that year.”

Corboy was a member of the Dallas Cross Country Club at the time, which planned the first marathon. The group’s coach convinced her to go on a 16-mile run a few weeks before the event, which was the farthest distance she had done up until that point.

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“And he said, ‘You know, what’s 10 more miles? You can do that,’” she said.

So Corboy did, surrounded by men.

“If they gave me dirty looks, it was behind my back,” Corboy said.

Since that first marathon, she’s run 23. Her last 26.2 mile race was the Boston Marathon in 2005.

Now, Corboy mostly sticks to half marathons. That’s what she plans to run this Sunday at the 50th anniversary race of the Dallas Marathon.

She’s most looking forward to the support from the crowd.

“I of course fade off into thinking about how much further I have to go and so forth, but I try to bring myself back to paying more attention to the moment and how lucky I am to be there,” said Corboy.

Her take on running is similar to the way she views life.

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“My philosophy is pretty shallow,” she said. “Live one day at a time, I guess you could sum it up.”

CBSDFW.com Staff