Inspiring 94-year-old becomes the oldest woman to finish a half marathon

June 6, 2017 3:07 pm Last Updated: June 6, 2017 3:07 pm


The fastest person to finish the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon finished in 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 18 seconds and while impressive, it wasn’t the most impressive feat of the day. The most impressive finish came out of the half marathon at 3 hours, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds by Harriette Thompson—a 94-year-old.

Training for a half marathon is not for the faint of heart and if the training is hard, running a half marathon is definitely not for everyone. But Thompson is not everyone.

When Thompson crossed the finish line for the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon she became the oldest person to finish a half marathon.

Not surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time the nonagenarian had run a long distance event. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, she has run the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon a total of 17 times. With the exception of this year’s event, all of her past races in San Diego were marathons. The last time she ran it, she was 92 years old and became the oldest woman to finish a marathon. She finished it in 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds.

Even though Thompson had competed in the race more than a dozen times, one could argue that this time—at least training for the race—was a little more difficult. Over the past year, Thompson battled cancer twice; underwent skin grafting procedures for her leg, requiring that she be hospitalized for over a month; needed an extra procedure for her leg so that blood could properly flow to the area; and had her jaw reconstructed.

So now you can see why she ‘only ran a half marathon this time around.

With several family members running by her side she crossed the finish line to thousands cheering for her while purple confetti rained down on her.

When asked about her record, she said that while it’s unusual now, she expects that one day it will be broken. Perhaps, maybe one day she’ll break her own record.

To hear more about Thompson and her accomplishment, watch the video clip below.