By WCCO-TV Staff

BOSTON, MASS. (WCCO) — A Minnesota marathoner fired the starting gun for the Boston Marathon’s elite women’s race Monday morning, then returned to the trail she blazed 50 years ago.

Val Rogosheske, 75, has quite the history with the race. She was one of just eight women to cross the finish line the first year women ran in 1972. Fifty years later, she competed again — alongside 12,000 other women.

Rogosheske’s two daughters and a cousin, all marathoners, are running with her.

She caught up with CBS Boston before the race began.



“Beyond running, if there’s something you want to do, just go for it,” she said. “There’s no reason you can’t do it.”

After the race, WCCO spoke with her from her hotel room.

“Oh my gosh, the whole way people would yell, ‘Val, yeah, right on,” she said. “So that was really fun.”

Recently, she told WCCO’s David Schuman her strategy heading into today’s race.

Read the story below:

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The familiar trot down her front steps in Minneapolis, shoes laced up, and Val Rogosheske is ready. She’s not just idle jogging: she’s training for the first time in a long time. The last race she was in was the Boston Marathon, 25 years ago.

Rogosheske was one of the first women to run the marathon in 1972. She was 25 then. She finished sixth out of eight women, without ever stopping to walk.

Credit: Val Rogosheske

“I often said it that was my most painful one ever because I wasn’t really ready for it. I had gotten married just that December and I got mono,” she recalled. “I’ve almost felt embarrassed about saying ‘I didn’t really work for it. I just showed up,’ but then I started realizing the power of showing up as well.”

Now at 75, Rogosheske is going back to run it again. She won’t be alone on the course. Her two daughters and a cousin are running with her. She’s going in with some strategy too, planning on running 30 seconds, and then walking for 30 seconds.

“I’m feeling like that’s probably the only way I can do this run,” she said.

Rogosheske is set to fire the starting gun that kicks off the race on Monday. It’ll be her fourth time running Boston, and her eight marathon overall.