Life After Trinity
After her time at Trinity University, Peggy continued her life as a runner and as a result contined her life as an advocate for women's rights.
When she moved back to Houston, she began particiapting in road races such as 5K and 10Ks. Slowly she moved up to marathons. Kokernot would train with men who were faster than her in several Houston parks.
In 1977, Peggy Kokernot was asked to participate in a torch bearing relay for the First National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas. This relay is similar to the Olympic Torch Relay but confined to the United States. The relay began in Seneca Falls, New York and ended in Houston, Texas for the opening ceremony of the conference. She ran a 16 mile stretch in Alabama and ended up helping end the realy by presenting the torch to Lady Bird Johnson and Rosalyn Carter.
At this convention, Peggy Kokernot met Jaqueline Hansen and Leigh Ann Reinhart, two elite marathoners. They talked with her about advocating for more women's participation in the marathon. Kokernot was interviewed and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine December 5, 1977, and was quoted saying that women had the right to run the marathon in the Olympics.
As a result of publicity like this and the work of other women like Jaqueline Hansen, the Olympics added women's events in the 5,000 meter race, the 10,000 meter race, and the marathon. Peggy Kokernot ended up qualifying for and competing in the marathon in the 1984 Olympic Trials.