91-Year-Old Woman Breaks Marathon Record with Awe-Inspiring Performance

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 2 2014 8:41 PM

91-Year-Old Woman Breaks Marathon Record with Awe-Inspiring Performance

495182209-year-old-marathon-participant-harriette-thompson
Harriette Thompson, marathoner.

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

Simply getting to the finish line of a marathon is an accomplishment in itself—when you cross the finish line and you’re 91-years-old, however, it's one for the record books. Over the weekend, ninety-something Harriette Thompson completed a marathon in San Diego clocking in with a time of 7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds.

That time smashed the previous record for women in 90+ category by two hours and 45 minutes. It was Thompson’s 15th marathon in the last 16 years and was not without adversity, NPR’s the Two-Way reports.

Thompson has been battling skin cancer recently. She told reporters she had undergone nine radiation treatments in 11 days, the last one coming just a month before the race. She wore bandages and tights to cover wounds left by the treatment. Thompson runs every year to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her brother died from lymphoma in February, Runner's World.
Advertisement

After the race, Thompson—who had run a 5K with her husband a week earlier—told the Charlotte Observer: “I can’t believe how big a deal they’re making over me. I felt like a queen for the day.” “If I’m still here next year, I think I’ll probably be able to train better and be in better shape,” Thompson said.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Fashion World Has Made “Feminist” a Meaningless Label

The Feds Have Declared War on New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?