Harriette Thompson, a two-time cancer survivor and grandmother who doesn’t let age define her, ran her way into history Sunday at the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll half marathon.
“I’m sort of numb. It feels great. I just am so happy that I was able to do it,” Thompson told reporters after the run.
Thompson finished the 21.1-kilometre run with an unofficial time of three hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds, making her the oldest woman to complete a half marathon.
The 94-year-old from North Carolina says age is just a number and it’s all about how you feel that counts. “If you feel up to it, go for it.”
She’s been going to San Diego for more than 17 years to participate in the races.
“I guess it’s unusual, but I feel like I did when I was 16. But I just can’t move as fast,” Thompson said.
But this isn’t the first time Thompson set a record. Two years ago, she became the oldest woman to complete a marathon at the age of 92. This time around, she decided to do the half because she underwent an operation on her leg last July.
Thompson, who started running at the age of 76, says this time around though, her biggest challenge was avoiding the potholes.
“I was warned, my children would say ‘watch out, here’s another pothole,’ so I was able to get over those.”
In the end, however, Thompson says it’s not setting records that keeps her running, it’s the money raised for cancer research.
“I want to thank everybody who was so generous and gave me money. I made quite a bit this year for leukemia and lymphoma, and that’s the whole reason I’m running,” Thompson told ABC News.