92-year-old cancer survivor becomes oldest woman to finish a marathon.

92-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Becomes Oldest Woman to Finish a Marathon

92-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Becomes Oldest Woman to Finish a Marathon

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The Slatest
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May 31 2015 9:05 PM

92-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Becomes Oldest Woman to Finish a Marathon

Ready to feel bad about sitting on your couch and watching Netflix all weekend? Well, Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a full marathon when she finished the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego in seven hours, twenty-four minutes and thirty-six seconds. One year earlier, Thompson, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, broke the record for the fastest marathon by a woman 90 or older when she finished in seven hours and seven minutes, details the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I don’t consider myself special,” said Thompson. “It’s just that I’m 92. All you have to do is get to 90 and you get all sorts of attention.”

It was Thompson’s 16th time running the marathon and the hardest so far in part because it happened only a few months after her husband died in January. "I couldn't train very well because my husband was very ill and I had to be with him for some time and then when he died in January I had some treatments on my leg," she said, according to the Associated Press. "I was just really thrilled that I could finish today."

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Before Thompson, the oldest woman to complete a marathon was Gladys Burrill, who was 92 years and 19 days old when she completed the Honolulu Marathon in 2010. Thompson is 92 years, 65 days old. But if you’re feeling guilty about being a couch potato, take heart: Thompson didn’t start running marathons until she was in her 70s.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.