A single nucleotide variant within the promoter of the 5-hydroxytryptamine1A (5HT1A) receptor, rs6295, is part of a binding site for the transcription factor NUDR (nuclear-DEAF-1-related). We aimed to ascertain whether the rs6295 mediates the effect of exercise on depressive mood in elderly endurance athletes. We prospectively enrolled 55 elderly athletes (marathon runners/bicyclists) and 58 controls. In a controlled, univariate model, an interaction between the [C]-allele and physical activity indicated that only among athletes, the variant resulting in an imperfect NUDR binding site was associated with a lower depression score. Hence, athletes presented with a significantly lower relative risk of achieving a suspicious depression score among carriers of at least one [C]-allele. Our results suggest that the positive effect of physical exercise on depressive mood might be mediated by the 5HT1A receptor and the extent of this protective effect seems to be enhanced by the [C]-allele of the rs6295 variant.