SAN DIEGO -- At the age of 92, Harriett Thompson became the oldest person to finish a marathon by running the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Sunday in San Diego.
Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina crossed the finish line at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 7 hours and 24 minutes with a large crowd celebrating her victory. It was the 16th time she has participated in the San Diego marathon.
The previous record was set by Gladys Burill, who was 92 years, 19 days old when she completed the Honolulu Marathon in 2010. Thompson was 92 and 93 days old on Sunday.
“I’m amazed that they’re interested. I just feel I don’t deserve this, but I’m enjoying it,” said Thompson, who plans to return to San Diego next year for the race. She continues to participate in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Thousands of runners set off on the 13.1-mile and 26.2 mile courses shortly after 6 a.m., on Sixth Avenue on the west side of Balboa Park. The marathon course went through Balboa Park, downtown San Diego, Mission Bay, the Morena District, and Mission Valley then finished at Petco Park in the East Village.
"San Diego is always a great venue for a race,'' said Don Lein, the USATF masters long distance running chairman. "You don't have to worry about the weather and the race itself is always professionally run. We don't ever have to worry about our athletes not being treated properly.''
San Diego's running event served as the site of the U.S. Track & Field's Masters half marathon national championship for the first time.
Igor Campos, 31, of Chula Vista won the marathon in 2:39:17. Lenore Moreno, 24, of West Covina won the women’s marathon in 2:41:39, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Union-Tribune also reported San Diego High School graduate Meb Keflezighi, 40, almost won the overall half-marathon, but was overtaken down the 13th Street finish by Kenyan Jordan Chipangama. Chipangame won by just two seconds in 1:02:27.
More than 25,000 runners from all 50 states and 42 countries ran Sunday and were serenaded by 35 bands and cheerleaders along the courses.