The 92-year-old Cancer Survivor Became Oldest Woman to Finish Marathon

Yeji Kim, Photojournalist

She did not think she would finish the race, but she never gave up.


Not only her great achievement, but also her positive attitude and commitment have put her in the spotlight.


A 92-year-old two-time cancer survivor, Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, rocked her way into the record books, becoming the oldest woman to finish a marathon. With her son Brenny Thompson along the way, Harriette Thompson participated in last Sunday’s Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego and successfully completed after crossing the finish line of 26.2-mile race in 7 hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds. Thompson broke the world record set by Glady Burrill, who ran the Honolulu Marathon in 2010 at the age of 92. Theresa Tanubrata (11) comments, “She’s really amazing! Finishing a marathon is difficult at any age!”


To be fully prepared for her 16th participation in the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Thompson worked out for about an hour on the elliptical every day and ran a 5K two weeks ago. Harriette Thompson has always liked to exercise and get in shape.


Harriette Thompson begin running marathons in her 70s and up until now. She has been tackling marathons annually to not only maintain a healthy life, but also bring good things to the community. Thompson runs her marathons to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has raised over $100,000 for the organization.


With the achievements so far, it is clearly proven how strong, dedicated, and enthusiastic Harriette Thompson is. Overcoming her age and physical frailties, Thompson proved that anything is possible as long as you have the passion, keep believing in yourself, and get rid of the fear of failure.


Mustangs, never underestimate yourself or your abilities and stop believing it is impossible because life is full of possibilities and opportunities! Anything is possible, you only have to try.