91-year old North Carolina resident Harriette Thompson ran and finished the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon on Sunday with a time of 7:07:42.
It’s an impressive crown to wear, after all: Her average pace – 16 minutes, 20 seconds per mile – surpasses the walking speed of a typical healthy adult. And this was all in spite of the fact she’s still recovering from recent radiation treatments for squamous cell carcinoma. The burns on her legs are still healing. (per People)
Harriette’s time is the fastest by a woman over 90 years old by a moonshot according to Runner’s World.
Thompson’s time was well under the previous fastest time in the women’s 90-and-over division, 8:53:08, run by Mavis Lindgren at the 1997 Portland Marathon. The oldest female marathon finisher on record is Gladys Burrill, who ran the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in 9:53:16 at the age of 92.
Her comments after finishing the 26.2 mile race made many laugh:
“I feel wonderful,” Thompson told Runner’s World Newswire. “I feel very relieved and I feel very anxious to take a shower and then fall into bed.”
Thompson didn’t start running until she was 76-years old. She has run a marathon every year since then on behalf of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training, raising over $90,000 in the process.
And in true Run It Fast spirit she said, “You’re never too old to do it. I started my first marathon at 76.” She went on to state that she planned to be back at San Diego for the marathon again next year, “I’ll try and do better next year and be in better shape.”
What an amazing and inspirational woman. A lot of us give up on being active or doing the impossible as we age. Harriette decided at 76-years old to run a marathon and has done it every year since then. Not enough words to praise the example she has set and how many she is inspiring.