It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we must say goodbye to our founder, Toshiko d'Elia. She passed away peacefully on February 19 at her daughter's home in Allendale from complications of a brain tumor that was discovered in December of 2013. She was 84. Toshi's awards and world records are too numerous to list but she is best known for being the first woman over age 50 to run a sub three-hour marathon at the 1980 World Veteran’s Marathon Champions in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2:57:25. She was also the first woman over 65 to run a sub seven-minute mile indoors. In 1996 she was inaugurated into the first class of the Masters division of the USATF National Track and Field Hall of Fame. d’Elia ran her first marathon in January of 1976, at age 46. She only trained to run 13.1 miles to see if she could do the distance. When she reached the half she kept running and finished in 3:25. Three months later she ran the Boston Marathon in 3:15. Seven months later she ran the New York City Marathon, placing third woman overall in 3:08:15.
Toshi will be remembered for her kind spirit, gentleness and graciousness. We have lost an angel.
As per her wish, there will be no service. A memorial run will be planned for the spring.
Run like Toshi!