GG5K Profile: Elaine Koss, walker

Photo credit: Nuria Mendoza.

Meet Elaine, our GG5K Profile of the Day! Elaine Koss, a walker in the Ghostly Gallop 5K since 2015, was the “most senior” female competitor (so far). Each year she tries to match her time from the year before. A part-timer in Stockport, Elaine and her husband, Don, walk daily. Learn more about Elaine below!

To register for the Ghostly Gallop 5K, the GG Walk or GG Kids’ 1-mile Fun Run, go to For daily tips to prepare for the run, go to

When did you start walking as a sport? I’ve always loved walking. I used to work at the Frick Collection on the East side of Manhattan. I live on the West side and every day I would walk to and from work. When I retired, at 70, I thought the one thing I would miss was my commute. So now, I am more conscious of walking – whether in the City or the country.

Who was/is your inspiration? My Mother didn’t drive. She lived in the suburbs and she walked everywhere. She was probably considered the neighborhood eccentric, but she lived to be 95.

How old are you – or, what is your age range? I am between 75 and 75-1/2.

Do you have any specific goals? I used to do the corporate walk in Central Park sponsored by my employer. My aim was always to be as fast as I was the year before. If you look at the results, I was probably last, but I was only competing against myself. That kind of goal is easier than competing against others. These days I try to walk 10,000 steps a day – the Fitbit thing.

What has been your longest competition? The Ghostly Gallop 5K is the longest I’ve ever done. The corporate walk in the city was the same length. The GG benefits the Library up here and the one sponsored by The Frick was a charity for the Central Park Conservancy. I do it more for the fund-raising benefit than the competition aspect.

Since this is a benefit for the Library, are there any books/films that motivate you? We walk all the time and use two books as trail guides. Loops, Strings and Balloons: A Description of Fourteen Walks in Columbia County by Edward and Martha Gibson and the new trail guide from the Columbia Land Conservancy. It’s called Columbia County Outdoors: A Guide to Recreational Areas in Columbia County NY by Sheldon Evans.

What do you like about the Ghostly Gallop? It’s for the Library. I feel very strongly about keeping public libraries open for the whole range of services they offer. Then, too, I like walking around Hudson. We are weekenders here so any opportunity to meet and mix with the full time residents is a plus. And, it’s at a beautiful time of year. October is guaranteed to be gorgeous.