92-year-old aims to be oldest marathon finisher

A 92-year-old cancer survivor is attempting to become the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, is competing in the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego.

“I have no idea if I’m going to be able to do it, but I’m going to try,” Mrs Thompson said at a news conference on Friday.

It will be her 16th time running it, and last year she set a record when she finished the race in 7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds, beating the previous record for a woman 90 or older by more than an hour and a half.

Mrs Thompson is a two-time cancer survivor who dealt with the loss of her husband and an infection in her legs while training for this year’s race.

A classically trained pianist who played three times at Carnegie Hall, she says she mentally plays old piano pieces she had performed to help her get through the 26.2 miles.

“I just don’t think of myself being that unusual,” she said. “I have a lot of people saying what an inspiration I am. That’s nice to hear, good for something at this age.”

The oldest woman to complete a marathon was Gladys Burrill, who was 92 years and 19 days old when she finished the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.

Mrs Thompson will be 92 years and 65 days old today, according to race organisers.

More in this Section

Coronavirus outbreak: How worried should you be?Coronavirus outbreak: How worried should you be?

Prince Charles wishes Palestinian people ‘freedom, justice and equality’ in historic visitPrince Charles wishes Palestinian people ‘freedom, justice and equality’ in historic visit

China will build new hospital in 10 days to treat coronavirus as lockdowns expandedChina will build new hospital in 10 days to treat coronavirus as lockdowns expanded

‘Remarkable’ new dinosaur species officially recognised after 30 years‘Remarkable’ new dinosaur species officially recognised after 30 years


Lifestyle

Falsies don’t have to be fiddly, says Katie Wright.5 common myths about false lashes

Hiring professional designers to guide you through a home revamp can get you what you want, which doesn’t necessarily have to be what TV home improvement shows tell us, writes Carol O’Callaghan.What a professional interior designer can do for you when planning a home revamp

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

The model, presenter and musician chats to Lauren Taylor about how different it is having a newborn in her 40s.Myleene Klass on her post-baby body: ‘I’ve got two stone to lose but I won’t berate myself’

More From The Irish Examiner