Senior Guide 2023-2

Several years ago, at the age of 75, Marcelina Maravilla Manzo took up a new hobby that others her age might not consider: She began running to improve her physical and mental health.At first, her muscles would hurt the following day but she kept at it, and now at age 80, the going is easy.“I don’t get tired when I’m running,” she says. “I was stressed, and my blood pressure got high,” Maravilla Manzo says of why she was inspired to take up running.“Since I started running I have improved a lot.” She recommends people her age get active: “It helps you a lot and you don’t feel bad.” Manzo is a single mom who immigrated in 1983 to the U.S. from Michoacan, Mexico seeking better opportunities for her and her sons, Ricardo and Gonzalo. She earned little money in Mexico picking tomatoes and cucumbers. It wasn’t enough to support the family. She moved to Monterey County because part of her family had settled in the area. She got work picking strawberries, and retired at age 67. She now lives in Salinas. “At the beginning, I didn’t run,” Maravilla Manzo says with a laugh.“I only worked and worked.” The pandemic was a game-changer for her. Being at home during shelter-in-place took a toll on her, physically and emotionally.Walking and running became her escape. Her son Ricardo joined her. Maravilla Manzo got to participating in local 5Ks (3.1 miles) and, in November 2022, she ran the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K; she placed first in the 80-84 age category. It was her sixth time winning first place in her age group in similar events, like turkey trots and Fourth of July runs. Yet back when she started running, winning races wasn’t on her mind. She just wanted to participate. She remembers her son Ricardo asking her several times if she was sure she wanted to sign up before her first race. She assured him she wanted to.Then realizing there were separate age categories for first, second and third places, Ricardo told her she might win.“I wish, I wish I win,” she remembers saying. And she did. Maravilla Manzo was ecstatic. Her son still helps her train, running along with her on coastal trails and at parks. She remembers the time she and her son outran a couple of young men.“We are so young and you outrun us,” they said.They told her that she encouraged them to keep running themselves. Going the Distance At 80, runner Marcelina Maravilla Manzo shows age need not be an obstacle to being active. By Celia Jiménez DANIEL DREIFUSS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Servicios De Inmigración y Ciudadanía • Citizenship, immigration of family members, US employment, and green cards. • Humanitarian efforts, adoptions, civic integration, and genealogy. • Available M-F or automated 24/7 • Ciudadanía, inmigración de miembros de la familia, empleo en los Estados Unidos, y tarjetas de residencia. • Esfuerzos humanitarios, adopciones, integración cívica, y genealogía. • Disponible L-V o en línea automatizada 24/7 1-800-375-5283 YWCA Monterey County YWCA Del Condado De Monterey • Domestic violence prevention • Emotional support services • Information and education • Advocacy • M-F 9-5pm with extended hours as needed • Crisis Line: 831-3726300/831-757-1001 • Prevención de violencia doméstica • Servicios de apoyo emocionales • Información y educación Abogaciá • L-V 9-5pm con horario extendido según sea necesario • Línea de crisis: 831-3726300/831-757-1001 831-422-8602 Salinas 20 The Best of Monterey Bay® Living Well 2023-2024 Advocacy and Protection Abogacía y Protección