Anyone who trains hard enough can run a marathon. Still, there are some people you would never expect to pound the pavement for 26.2 miles. From the elderly, those who just left diapers, and ultra-marathoners, these are the runners we’re most shocked – and inspired !– to see cross the finish line.
Hariette Thompson became the oldest woman to run a marathon when she completed this weekend’s Rock-N-Roll Marathon in San Diego. It’s Thompson’s 16th marathon – and she started running them at age 76. Over her years running the Rock-n-Roll Marathon, she’s raised over $90,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As she told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “If I’m still [alive], I’ll be back next year.”
Elite woman runners don’t skip a race just because they have another person growing inside them. Runner Clara Horowitz Peterson even went into labor with her second child while on a run. Many runners at high levels consider corporate sponsorship and Olympic trials when planning for pregnancy. Peterson qualified for the 2012 United States Olympic marathon trials only four months after the birth of her second child. I dare you to ask these runners about a “baby body.”
This isn’t what anyone wants to hear but, yes, some supermodels are marathon runners in their spare time. Pamela Anderson finished the 2013 New York Marathon in 5 hours and 41 minutes. Christy Turlington Burns runs the New York Marathon to raise funds for her Every Mother Counts, her charity organization devoted to safe pregnancy and childbirth. (So she’s also charitable!)
Daily Marathon Runners
Stumped for date night ideas? Skip Netflix and try running 26.2 miles instead, like Janette Murray-Wakelin and Allen Murray, the couple in their 60s who ran a marathon for every single day of 2013. They set a world record with their 366th marathon on January 1, 2014. Not to mention they accomplished the entire task while on a raw, vegan diet and are now making a documentary about their experience called “Running Raw Around Australia.” Certainly worth a watch, but you’ll probably want to skip the popcorn and do some crunches while you do.
A 3-Year-Old Boy
Budhia Singh became a huge celebrity in India when he started running long distances at an extremely young age. He was born into poverty in India and reportedly sold to a traveling salesman at age 2, eventually landing up in an orphanage. According to Runner’s World, he had run 48 “marathons” – unorganized races of marathon length – by age five. Sadly, Singh was shot and killed in 2008.