Harriette Thompson, 92, ran and finished the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday, becoming the oldest person to complete the challenging 26.2-mile distance. Her time: 7:24:36.
Last year, Thompson actually ran the race in 7:07:42, capturing the record for fastest time run by a woman 90 or older.
As someone who has run her fair share of marathons, and who is 50-plus years younger than Thompson, I marvel at anyone who takes on this distance, but especially Thompson, who has completed 16 (!) of them so far. What’s more, the Charlotte, North Carolina resident didn’t even begin pounding the pavement until age 76.
Still, the two-time cancer survivor, who lost her husband of 67 years in January to the disease, remains modest about her accomplishment. She always runs on behalf the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training, and this year was no different; she's raised more than $100,000 in the 16 years of running long races.
“I keep thinking, ‘I don’t deserve this [attention],’ but if it helps or if it encourages anybody, it makes me feel good,” Thompson told Runner's World Newswire before the race. “I think if I can do it, anybody can do it, because I wasn’t trained to be a runner. But I have also found that it’s very invigorating. I feel like a million dollars when I’m finished.”
Now, if that doesn't make you want to rack up some miles, I don't know what else will.