San Diego

94-Year-Old Marathon Runner Sets Record in San Diego

Harriette Thompson, a two-time cancer survivor, became the oldest woman to run a half-marathon at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Harriette Thompson, 94, smiled and laughed as she crossed the finish line at the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego Sunday, becoming the oldest woman to run a half-marathon.

"I guess it's unusual, but I don't know why people make such a big deal," Thompson said. "I feel just like I did when I was 16. But I just can’t move as fast."

She said, for her, running is natural. 

"It feels great," she said. "I am so happy that I was able to do it."

In 2015, Thompson broke the world record as the oldest woman to complete a full marathon.

Thompson, a two-time cancer survivor, said she runs to raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Through the years, she has raised $100,000 for the organization. She has raised $15,000 in 2017.

On Sunday, she ran with her family surrounding her and finished with a time of 3 hours, 42 minutes. 

"I enjoyed running across the finish line," Thompson said. "That’s always the biggest thing. And I really enjoyed having my family with me."

She said her secret to a healthy life at her age is, of course, exercise on a regular basis and a balanced diet. Though, she said it is hard for her to resist sugar.

For those looking for words of advice, Thompson said she encourages everyone to challenge themselves. 

"It's never too late to do something that you're interested in doing," she said. "There’s no reason to not go after something you believe in."

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