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92-year-old becomes oldest marathon runner

Los Angeles: A 92-year-old three-time cancer survivor has become the oldest woman in the world to finish a marathon when she crossed the finish line of a 42.16-km race in the US.

Harriette Thompson hurried as quickly as she could along Southern California streets and highways, eventually crossing the finish line of the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon to become the oldest woman ever to complete a 42.16-km race.

Dressed in a purple Team in training T-shirt and ball cap, purple shoes and purple shorts over white tights, Thompson was welcomed at the finish line outside the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park by confetti cannons and a throng of reporters.

“I can’t believe I made it!” Thompson said a few hours later.

“I was really tired at one point. Around Mile 21, I was going up a hill and it was like a mountain,” she said, laughing, “and I was thinking, this is sort of crazy at my age. But then I felt better coming down the hill. And my son Brenny kept feeding me all this wonderful carbohydrates that kept me going.”

Nearly 19,000 people entered in yesterday’s race. Thompson has completed the race 16 out of those 18 years, each time on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training. Her fundraising efforts have generated more than USD 100,000.

Thompson is a three-time cancer survivor, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Previously, the oldest female marathon finisher on record was Gladys Burrill, who ran the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in 9:53:16 at the age of 92 years, 19 days old. Thompson turned 92 three months ago.

Fauja Singh is the oldest male marathon runner who was 101 when he retired from racing in 2013.

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