She Waited Until She Was 76 To Start Running Marathons, And At 94, Just Set An Amazing Record

Nothing can stop a woman with passion and a cause.

At 94-years-old, Harriette Thompson continues to exceed her own running records by being the oldest woman to finish a half marathon. She accomplished the feat at the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon on Sunday with an incredible time of 3 hours, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds.

"I could hear my name being shouted the whole way," she told A Plus. "I suppose I'm a legacy, at least that's what they say."



Photo Credit: Jerod Harris | Rock 'n' Rock Marathon / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jerod Harris | Rock 'n' Rock Marathon / Getty Images

In the 2014 San Diego marathon, she broke the women's 90-94 age-group marathon record with a time of 7:07:42. Then, in 2015, Thompson continued to shatter records by being the oldest woman to finish a marathon at age 92. Since then, Thompson has become a viral sensation. It seems there isn't anything that Thompson can't do.

"I feel very fortunate," she told A Plus shortly after crossing the finish line. "I've always been active, but I didn't run my first marathon until I was 76."

Thompson is an amazing woman and her story is one of true inspiration. As a two-time cancer survivor (having battled both jaw and skin cancer), she is selfless in her pursuit to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Thompson has had friends who were ill with leukemia, she's trained for marathons with a staph infection in her leg, and endured the loss of her husband. Not even recent operations have stopped Thompson from attempting this year's half marathon. Nothing can stop a woman with passion, and a cause. This is Thompson's 17th race, and to date, she has raised more than $100,000 and counting for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, according to race organizers.

There is a great deal that running a marathon can teach someone, especially when embracing the energy-draining halfway point of a marathon. "I try to be positive and have a good attitude," Thompson says, "[and] try not to be negative at all." Thompson's positivity is only one of many reasons everyone loves her.

Photo Credit: Christopher Evangelista / Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
Photo Credit: Christopher Evangelista / Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

If there is one thing we can all learn from Thompson, it is perseverance — never give up. As a former concert pianist who has performed three times at the famous Carnegie Hall, Thompson said during her internal interview for the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon that "It's a lot harder to give a concert than it is to run a marathon." She followed that by explaining that she had to work harder at being a concert pianist because it's a different kind of preparation. One that Thompson says is "strictly mental, the other is physical," although she says, "there is some mental ability in running too — to make sure you keep going."

Photo Credit: Christopher Evangelista / Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
Photo Credit: Christopher Evangelista / Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

(H/T: NBC Sports)