5 inspiring people who have run marathons
26.2 miles proves no match for these determined folks.
They say that the race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running. That is especially true for the batch of marathoners we celebrate below. They have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that adversity and struggle are no match for tenacity and determination. When this remarkable group of runners sees a finish line, they intend to cross it – and inspire all of us at the same time.
1. Harriette Thompson
Harriette Thompson, a 92-year-old grandmother of 10, raced into the history books this Sunday when she crossed the finish line of the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon and became the oldest woman ever to complete a marathon. The nonagenarian has run the race more than a dozen times and has raised $100,000 for her favorite charity, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "I was thinking, 'This is sort of crazy at my age.' But then I felt better coming down the hill," she told her hometown paper, the Charlotte Observer. "And my son Brenny kept feeding me all these wonderful carbohydrates that kept me going."
2. Zev Rosenberg
New Jersey air-conditioning repairman Zev Rosenberg suffered an injury on the job that left him paralyzed. But after a little more than a year of physical therapy, the 53-year-old father of four was able to accomplish the unthinkable: He ran the Jerusalem Marathon in 2015. "It was a dream come true. I was practically in tears," he told From The Grapevine. "When I had my injury, I thought that part of my life is over. It's great to be running again. And it was great to achieve that goal."
3. Juli Windsor
Juli Windsor, a 3-foot-9-inch physician's assistant, was hoping to become the first dwarf to complete the Boston Marathon. The year was 2013, and fate had other plans that day when bombs rocked the finish line, with Windsor less than a mile away. But that didn't sway her. She tried again and completed the race the following year. Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe reporter David Abel followed the 29-year-old Windsor along on her journey and made a documentary about her called "Undaunted," which was released in April.
4. Bob and Lenore Dolphin
Bob and Lenore Dolphin are the race directors for the Yakima River Canyon Marathon. (Photo: Courtesy OnTheRunEvents)
Bob and Lenore Dolphin have become legends in the racing world. At 85 years old, this fitness-friendly couple are likely the oldest race directors in the world, as they organize the annual Yakima River Canyon Marathon, which takes place just outside Seattle. The two have also traveled the country volunteering at other marathons. Well, Lenore has done most of the volunteering. Bob actually runs in them. In 2012, he completed his 500th marathon. "This is our hobby, our diversion, our adventure that we love," Bob said.
5. Dean Karnazes
The 52-year-old California native began running as early as kindergarten. And he really hasn't stopped since. In 2002, he ran a marathon to the South Pole and, in 2006, he gained national acclaim for running a marathon in each of the 50 states in 50 consecutive days. Besides proving his superhuman endurance, Karnazes used the attention to raise more than $100,000 for Karno Kids – a charity he created to help fund programs that will tackle the problem of childhood obesity.
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