Harriette Thompson finished Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in 7 hours 7 minutes 42 seconds, which seems like a bad time until you consider that she’s 91 and battling cancer. It is, in fact, an awesome time, the U.S. record for the 90-94 age group. According to KNSD-TV in San Diego, the previous record was 8:53:08. Thompson slaughtered that record in her 15th time running the race. She was the second-oldest marathon runner in U.S. history. Here’s more from KNSD.
The North Carolina resident is a cancer survivor, most recently battling squamous cell carcinoma on her legs, Runners World reports.
“I’m having radiation on my legs. I just had nine radiation treatments, and they’re being healed now,” she said before Sunday’s race.
Treatments and hospitalizations forced her to skip last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, but she came back this year with a new spring in her step. Before the race, she said she felt fine, though one leg was giving her a bit of trouble.
Through her runs, Thompson helps to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. The team’s campaign director told the Charlotte ObserverThompson’s efforts have generated more than $90,000 for the society.
Thompson isn’t training with her usual running group, which consists of twenty-somethings. But she still has her routine.
“I try to run around the block, and I do a few 5Ks,” Thompson told KNSD. “I think the most I’ve done this year is an 8K, so it’s sort of a lot to ask to jump from that to 26.”