NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of women took part in the 45th annual New York Road Runners all-female Mini 10K on Saturday — a 6.2-mile loop that takes them up Central Park West and ends at Tavern on the Green.

But for Cindy Peterson, 76, of Bedminster, New Jersey, the race is more than just an annual event — it’s something that has changed her life.

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In 1994, Peterson completed her first Mini 10k when she was 53 years old, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported. 

“I did it and I said maybe I can do a marathon,” Peterson said. “Before you know it I was doing marathons all over the world – seven continents!”

According to NYRR, Peterson has since completed 49 marathons — including 18 New York City Marathons — and is a part of the Seven Continents Club.

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But Peterson keeps coming back to the race that started it all.

“Well it’s an all-women’s race and it’s so exciting because you see women of all ages thinking about the goal that we have — to finish the race,” Peterson said.

“Not only that — but it’s the only race where I ever wear makeup,” she added, laughing.

According to the NYRR website, more than 8,000 people participated in Saturday’s Mini 10k.

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