Meet Gunhild Swanson, a 70-Year-Old Ultra Marathoner

When was the last time you ran 100 miles straight? The answer, for most of us, is probably never. But many athletes attempt it during races like the Western States Endurance Run, which attracts hundreds of runners who race from Squaw Valley, California, to Auburn, California. To be considered a finisher, racers must complete the run in under 30 hours. If you need the inspiration to get training for an ultra-marathon, consider the story of Gunhild Swanson.

Swanson, at age 70, recently became the oldest female finisher in the history of the Western States Endurance Run, beating the clock by a mere six seconds. While many of us can’t even fathom what it’s like to be awake for 30 hours, Swanson competed for 30 hours with athletes half her age and finished strong.

The race course she completed isn’t easy, either. The grueling course climbs more than 20,000 feet into the mountains, back down through canyons, and even crosses rivers. This grandmother beat the odds and became an Internet sensation. Now it’s your turn to get inspired.

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