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Getting older can come with a lot of difficulties. But perhaps the greatest is dealing with weird assumptions about things you can or can't do just because you've lived on this planet longer than others.

Unless, that is, you opt to simply leave those misconceptions in the dust.

That's what 80-year-old Kay and Joe O'Regan did when they decided to start running marathons at age 50.


Here they are crossing their first finish line together in 1986, alongside their most recent hand-in-hand victory:


But the O'Regans aren't just finishing marathons — they're snagging first place in their age brackets. In the Cork City Marathon, which took place on June 6, 2016, they had the fastest time for their group: 5:25:29.

Even though they took up running later in life, that hasn't stopped them from quite literally going the distance.

Photo by Darragh Kane, used with permission.

Joe has run in 29 marathons since 1986, but Kay has massively outpaced him with a whopping 113 marathons under her belt. She's won the Irish National Marathon Championships several times and has broken records too: Her time at the Cork City Marathon earned her the status of fastest 80-year-old woman in the United Kingdom.

While the couple has run many races together and separately, they ran both their first and their most recent (which will also be their last) holding hands.

Photo by Darragh Kane, used with permission.

Kay told People that she thought holding hands definitely helped give Joe the little burst of energy he needed to make it across the finish line — which just goes to show that even in a marriage 57 years strong, love is still key to getting through life.

Aside from their adorable finish, Joe and Kay said they don't see themselves as extraordinary in the slightest.

"Running is just something we do," Joe told Runner's World.

These octogenarians are proof that people are capable of amazing things at any age.

The O'Regans are far from the only ones demonstrating that through their hobbies.

Last year, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson from Charlotte, North Carolina, became the oldest woman to ever finish a marathon. That's 26.2 miles, folks. And she's 92.

Harriette Thompson finishing the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Image via ABC 10 News/YouTube.

86-year-old Yvonne Dowlen has been figure skating since she was 16. Even when she got a bad concussion at 80 and her doctor told her to hang up her skates, she pushed through and still manages to train for an hour every day.

No big deal, but 78-year-old Shirley Webb can deadlift 237 pounds and recently set the deadlift record in Illinois.

So yes, sure, for some people life might get slower with age. But these folks are living proof that it doesn't have to.

It doesn't mean you need to complete crazy feats of strength and endurance to stay fit and healthy. But if you like to be active, it's important to keep pushing yourself forward in order for your body to keep up with your goals.

And of course, it doesn't hurt to have a loving running body cheering you on.

Photo by Darragh Kane, used with permission.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Education

All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

The "whoosh" sound was due to the fact that the women would cut the planes' engines as they approached, gliding in stealthily before dropping their bombs. And the Night Witches moniker was fitting, considering the fact that the 588th was an all-female regiment.

Their missions were incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the women were equipped. Most of the recruits were in their late teens to mid-20s, and crew members had to learn how to pilot, navigate and maintain the aircraft so they could serve the regiment in any capacity. They underwent an intensive year of training to learn what usually took several years to master.

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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

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