Not only has Harriette Thompson, a 92-year-old two times cancer survivor from Charlotte, North Carolina, run her sixteenth race at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon but she has become the oldest person to do so. Previously, Gladys Burril, forty days younger at the time, held the record. Harriette has also set a new record for speed, finishing more than two hours faster than the previous record holder.
Harriette, a classical pianist who performed at Carnegie hall three times, started running at the age of 76 when a member of her church approached her about raising money for cancer. Since then, she has not only survived two cancer threats but lost many friends to the disease. While training for the 2015 Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, she lost her husband and battled a staph infection in one of her legs.
The 92-year-old has raised $100,000 to date for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society and become something of a celebrity in marathon circles.
“I just don’t think of myself being that unusual. I have a lot of people saying that I am an inspiration and wanting selfies,” Harriette said.
She has no plans to stop running in marathons.