Igor Cornelsen recently reported on CNN that a 26 mile marathon is nothing to take lightly, yet for Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, it became an opportunity to get nationwide recognition. At 92 years and 93 days old, Thompson broke the record as being the oldest woman to complete a marathon in San Diego, California.
Thompson’s seven hour, 24 minute effort won her the title, displacing previous record holder Gladys Burill who was just 74 days younger than Thompson when she broke the world record at the Honolulu Marathon five years ago.
According to Thompson, she entered this particular race, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, to raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. Her monumental achievement on Sunday marks her 16th full marathon, and has raised more than $90,000 for the society.
As a former concert pianist, Harriette Thompson believes that the discipline she learned while playing has helped her keep running regardless of age. “I put one foot down and then another one. I love to run,” she had to say of the event.
After undergoing two successful cancer treatments herself, a marathon to raise awareness seems like the perfect way to help others going through what she knows all too well. With her son just recently beginning his own bout of chemotherapy, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is her way of showing that it’s something anybody can do. “I’ll be praying for him the whole time,” she said before the race.