If you’re looking for a story to help inspire you to start a new fitness routine, we’ve got you covered. Harriette Thompson just broke the record for being the oldest woman to complete a half marathon, running 21.1 kilometres this past weekend at age 94. Excuse us while we bow down.
The two-time cancer survivor and grandmother ran the San Diego Rock ‘N Roll half marathon this past weekend with some of her children, who had to keep up with their mother. Thompson told reporters that having her children there was both a motivating and practical move, using them as an extra set of eyes: “I was warned, my children would say, ‘watch out, here’s another pothole,’ so I was able to get over those.”
This past weekend’s record-breaking run by Thompson wasn’t the first time the North Carolina native has added her name to the history books. Two years ago, Thompson became the oldest woman to run a full marathon, clocking in 42 kilometres at age 92. This time around, Thompson decided to ‘take it easy’ and run the half marathon, since she had surgery on her leg last July. Well, all our excuses just went out the window.
Coming in with an unofficial time of three hours and 42 minutes, Thompson said she doesn’t understand the big deal around her age. “I feel just like I did when I was 16, but I just can’t move as fast,” she said.
Proving that you’re never too old to try something new, Thompson didn’t start running until she was 76 years old and has kept her mantra simple: “If you feel up to it, go for it.”
Speaking with ABC News, Thompson wanted to thank all the people who donated to charities in her name for the run, and explained that raising money for a good cause is what motivates her to throw on her sneakers and hit the pavement. “I made quite a bit this year for leukemia and lymphoma, and that’s the whole reason I’m running.”
As for how she felt at the end of the half marathon, Thompson said that “I’m sort of numb. It feels great. I just am so happy that I was able to do it.”
Time to find our sneakers.