Today is Global Running Day, when the world celebrates the challenges and benefits of pounding the pavement (or hitting the trails or treadmill).
If you need some inspiration to lace up those running shoes and get a jog in before the day is over, look no further than Harriette Thompson—who at the age of 94 became the oldest woman to run a half marathon.
Thompson, a former concert pianist who took up running in her 70s, had a few things working against her when she lined up at the starting point of San Diego’s Rock ‘N Roll Marathon this past Sunday. Because she was recovering from an operation on her leg, she didn’t have ample time to train, she told NBC News. And she’s also a two-time cancer survivor.
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Yet decked out in purple leggings and pink lipstick, she still managed to complete the half marathon in an impressive 3 hours, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds. “At age 94, I feel like I did when I was 16, but I can’t go as quick,” she told the Washington Post. “Overall, I feel fine.”
As though her half marathon achievement isn’t incredible enough, in 2015 she did the full 26.2 miles in San Diego in 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds, becoming the oldest person to complete a marathon. Oh, and she uses her runs to raise serious bucks; she raised in total more than $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So far this year, she’s at the $15,000 mark, according to the Post.
You don’t need to be a runner to be motivated by Thompson’s achievements. Next time you’re trying to talk yourself into making it to the gym or not blowing off that extra mile or lap, let this feisty nonagenarian be your fitspo.
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