She’s 92 years old. She’s survived cancer twice. And she just broke records by running a 42 kilometre marathon.
Did we mention she’s 92 years old?
Harriette Line Thompson, a retired concert pianist, finished the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in just 7 hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds – a record for her age group.
The 92-year-old, who has run the marathon 16 times in the past, crushed the last record of 9 hours and 53 minutes set by Gladys Burrill in Honolulu. But it’s not only Harriette’s incredible agility and endurance that’s making news; it’s her reason for running.
After losing her brother last February to Leukemia, Harriette has raised over $90,000 running marathons in his name.
“I never try to compete,” Thompson said. “I just try to make money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”
In addition to being 92-years-old and a cancer survivor, Harriette also a number of other obstacles to overcome this year.
In January, her husband of 68 years, Sydnor, died, after a long battle with a lingering illness. Her training and running was also hampered by a persistent staph infection in one of her legs.
"It's always harder but this year has been a bad year for me," said Harriette, "I couldn't train very well because my husband was very ill and I had to be with him for some time and then when he died in January I had some treatments on my leg. I was just really thrilled that I could finish today."
But finish she did, and with her signature red lipstick in place, as well.
As to whether or not this race will be her last, Harriette still isn’t sure.
“I believe this will be my last time, but my friends remind me that I say that every year.”