More than 21,000 runners filled corrals in Balboa Park, then embarked on a foot tour of San Diego. It was the 20th running of the event that launched the now global Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.
For 94-year-old Harriette Thompson of North Carolina, she has became the oldest woman to complete a half marathon when she finished this year’s Rock N’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon in 3:42:56 on 4 June, Sunday morning.
The previous record was held by Gladys Burrill, who ran a half marathon at 93 years old in 2012.
Thompson, who took up running when she was 76 years old is a two-time cancer survivor. She ran the race on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.
She has run the San Diego race for the organisation 16 times since 1999 but missed it in 2013 when she was battling cancer. Having lost multiple family members to cancer, including her husband, Thompson has raised over $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to date and including close to $8,000 this year.
The widowed grandmother of 10 has been nursing a large open wound just above her right ankle for more than two years, a result of aggressive radiation treatment for squamous cell carcinoma.
She said she’ll undergo graft surgery in the coming week, which will replace the damaged skin with skin from her thigh area.
— Rock n Roll Marathon (@RunRocknRoll) June 4, 2017
“I’m hoping that this’ll heal and then I can take the rest of the year to get ready for my next marathon That’s my big goal. I’m keeping a good attitude about it, because that’s the only way to go.”
At 92, Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a full marathon in 2015, the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in 7:24:36, a record that still stands.