GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When it comes to racing, Freddi Angus is undefeated.
“I’ve always said to finish is to win. I’ve won every race I’ve went in,” says the spunky athlete with a tattoo sleeve.
At age 80, Angus isn’t slowing down. She’s training for another River Bank Run 25K. It will be her 28th River Bank Run.
“It’s in my heart. I like it. It’s something I… it’s in my being,” she said.
Angus runs so much, she burns through three pairs of running shoes a year. She estimates she’s logged more than 18,000 miles since she got hooked on running. That’s enough to run from West Michigan to Australia and back.
Angus uses her 12-mile runs to reconnect.
“I talk to the birds. I talk to God… I sing songs,” she said.
Angus didn’t start running until she was 39 years old. Her inspiration came while watching TV coverage of the inaugural River Bank Run won by Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers.
If her kids would have had their way, Angus would have missed it.
“They wanted to watch cartoons. I said, ‘No, I like this’ and I won. When it was all over, I said, ‘Hmmm. I’m going to run that next year.’ They laughed at me. That was all it took,” she said.
Since then, Angus has completed six full marathons in addition to dozens of River Bank Runs. She’s also a part-time fitness consultant at Curves.
Her message to anyone 65 and older: “Keep moving. Keep moving. You have to have the mental to be able to run. You have to think about it. But don’t stop doing what you’re doing.”
And the sons who laughed at her? They’re all grown up and Angus’ biggest cheerleaders.
“They haven’t laughed in years,” Angus said of her running.