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Meet Harriette Thompson, the 92-Year-Old Marathon Runner

Harriette Thompson recently finished a marathon in San Diego at age of 92, making her the oldest female marathoner in history.

Many people who run races do it while listening to uplifting music on a phone or iPod. However, the classical music that got Harriette Thompson over the finish line was all in her head. When she was younger, Thompson traveled the world as a classical pianist, playing the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in D Major.” The song has aged well, as has Thompson, who recently finished a marathon in San Diego at the age of 92, making her the oldest female marathoner in history.

For seven hours and 24 minutes, Thompson defied age. She was encouraged by shouts of “Go, Harriette!” along the race route. As she crossed the finish line, confetti sprayed down, making for a fun surprise for Thompson. But Thompson runs for more than just records.

Her husband of 67 years passed away of cancer. Their son has colon cancer. Thompson herself is a two-time cancer survivor. Since 1999, she has run this marathon 16 times and raised $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Much of her drive to run a marathon at her age can be attributed to her background in classical piano. In her opinion, playing a concert is harder than distance running. It takes more discipline. With marathon running, the key for Thompson is to stay positive.