Showing posts with label Marathon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marathon. Show all posts

92-Year Old Woman Becomes Oldest to Complete Marathon

Looking for a dose of inspiration before your run today? Then check out Harriet Thompson of Charlotte, NC. This past weekend, 92-year old Harriet became the oldest woman to complete a marathon when she crossed the finish line at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Harriet completed the event with a time of 7:24:36, which was more than two hours faster than the next oldest woman to finish a marathon. According to Runner's World, back in 2010, Gladys Burrell ran the Honolulu Marathon in a time of 9:53:16. At the time, she was 19 days past her 92nd birthday, which is 74 days younger than Harriet. 

The grandmother of 10 isn't new to running. This is actually the 16th time she has completed a marathon, running each of the Rock 'n" Roll races in San Diego over the years, save the 2013 even when she was battling cancer. She even olds the marathon record for 90-94 age group, which she set last year with a time of 7:07:42. That's pretty impressive all things considered. 

Harriet says that she has no intentions of slowing down either. She says she'll be back for future races as long as she can continue to run. Hopefully that will be for many more years to come, as I'm sure she serves as a great inspiration to many people who are much younger than her. 

Think about Harriet the next time you're considering skipping a training run. If she's out there on the road putting in her miles, we can be too. 

Extreme Running News: North Pole Marathon Tests Runners, Sir Ran Completes Marathon des Sables

After a delayed start last week due to weather and a damaged aircraft at the Barneo Ice Camp, the 2015 North Pole Marathon finally took place over the weekend. This year there were 22 countries represented in the race with, with 45 total competitors, traveling to the top of the world to run in some of the most grueling conditions imaginable.

At the start of the race, temperatures hovered around -29ºC/-20ºF. Setting off across the pack ice, the runners knew they had quite a challenge in front of them, but not everyone knew exactly how difficult it would be. Apparently several athletes had to be treated for hypothermia after prolonged exposure to the cold, as the final competitors didn't reach the finish line until after they spent 15 hours running the route. That is an awfully long time to be out in those conditions.

The winner of the race was Petr Vabrousek of the Czech Republic. He finished in 4 hours, 22 minutes, 24 seconds, which is an impressive time all things considered. Second place went to Doug Wilson of Australia with a time of 5 hours, 1 minute, 38 seconds. Daniel Palko rounded out the podium with a time of 5 hours, 8 minutes, 56 seconds.

For the ladies it was Heather Hawkins of Australia taking the top honors with a time of 6 hours, 57 minutes, 39 seconds. She was followed by Alice Burch of the U.K. at 7 hours, 4 minutes, 42 seconds, and Jennifer Cheung of China/Hong Kong, who finished with a time of 7 hours, 6 minutes, 6 seconds.

According to race officials, the competitors were all rounded up and flown back Longyearbyen in Norway yesterday. The race is over for another year, and the competitors are now making their way back home.

Meanwhile, in the Sahara Desert another group of runners faced completely different conditions while competing in the Marathon des Sables over the weekend. The 256 km (159 mile), 6-day ultramarathon wrapped up on Saturday with runners struggling with temperatures that soared up to 48.8ºC/120ºF. Amongst them was Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who struggled to reach the finish line in an event that he called "more hellish than hell."

The 71-year old, who has been called the "World's Greatest Living Explorer," suffered alarming heart palpitations last Thursday when he completed the most grueling leg of the race. For a time, it looked like he would have to pull out altogether, but he managed to rally through his pain and complete the race. Fiennes, who has had two heart attacks in the past, as well as double bypass surgery, spent 30 hours out on the course at one point, as he covered a 90 km (56 mile) stage on just one hour of sleep.

The famed British explorer wasn't the only one making headlines at the Marathon des Sables. Fellow countryman Davey Heeley became the first blindman to complete the race as well. The 57-year old father of three is an incredibly fit runner who competes in marathons regularly, but had never done anything like the MdS before. He reached the finish line on Saturday as well, completing the final stage of the race in Morocco with the other competitors.

Some pretty inspiring stories of runners pushing themselves to the limits in extreme conditions. I'll think about these athletes when I go out for my run today in more modest temperatures.

11-Year Old to Become Youngest to Run a Marathon on All Seven Continents

An 11-year old boy is about to make us all feel like complete slackers.

On September 7, Nikolas Toocheck will take part in the  Chenaii Trail Marathon, held each year in India. If he completes the run, he will set a record for the youngest person to ever run a marathon on all seven continents. He has already finished marathons in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

Nikolas launched his efforts to achieve this goal back in 2012, running his first marathon in the Delaware. From there, he simply continued checking off the other continents, until he had just Asia left. In a couple of weeks, he hopes to add that continent to his list as well.

This young runner isn't tackling this challenge just so he can set records however. He is also running to raise funds for a nonprofit called Operation Warm that he has been instrumental in as well. The organization provides warm winter coats to underprivileged children who come from families who can't afford to buy coats themselves. So far, Nikolas has raised more than $40,000 for Operation Warm, which has purchased coasts for 2000 children. But he has his sights set much higher than that, hoping to reach his target goal of $1 million, which would benefit 50,000 kids.

Nikolas has dubbed this endeavor as Running the World for Children, as he has been using this platform to spread the word about Operation Warm as often as he can. As he nears the end of his challenge, he'll concentrate his efforts on raising more money for the cause.

According to Nikolas' website, he started running with his dad at a very young age, and competed in his first 5k at the age of 5. In that race, he mostly covered the distance on his dad's shoulders, but a year later he completed the same distance completely on his own. Since then, father and son have continued to run together, completing several marathons together. An avid trail and road runner, Nik doesn't seem to have any plans to quit running anytime soon.

Pretty inspirational stuff. Think about this young man when you head out for a run this weekend.