Monday Morning Motivation – Harriette Thompson

Harriette Thompson running a marathon
I regularly hear people say that they can’t do something because they’re too old. Whilst a few individuals really do have limitation for the majority of people, the only limit is their imagination*. Harriette Thompson is someone who has never let age get in the way of achieving her goals.
Harriette Thompson crosses the finish line
Harriette Thompson finishes the San Diego Marathon on May 31, 2015 in California. Photograph: Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Harriette Thompson’s record-breaking San Diego Rock’n’Roll Marathon

On crossing the marathon finish line at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon in May 2015, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson made history. By finishing in 7 hours, 24 minutes, 36 seconds, Harriette became the oldest woman to run a marathon. In 2014, she set a record for the fastest marathon by a woman 90 and older, finishing in 7:07:42. The old record was 9 hours, 53 minutes.

A one-time concert pianist who performed at Carnegie Hall three times, Thompson did not run her first marathon until she was 76.

Charity fundraising

A two-time cancer survivor, Thompson runs to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She has raised more than $90,000.

“I hit up all the people in my retirement home,” Thompson said. “Every year I write them a (thank you) note and say ‘I think this is my last year.’ Then I do another one.”

Asked how she felt about becoming the oldest woman to run a marathon, Thompson turned modest.

”I guess it’s sort of unusual now,” she said. “But in 10 years it won’t be ususual at all. People are living longer.”

* If you don’t believe me, check out this article: Running: a great sport to start in later life.

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