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Sports

US grandmother sets marathon record at 92

Harriette Thompson has become the oldest woman in the world to finish a marathon. She participated in the San Diego marathon to raise money for research into cancer - a disease she herself survived.

Harriette Thompson, aged 92 years and 65 days, was cheered by dozens of supporters as she completed the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego on Sunday in 7 hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds.

"I was really tired at one point. Around mile 21, I was going up a hill and it was like a mountain," the grandmother of 10 told her hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, after the marathon. "I was thinking, 'This is sort of crazy at my age.' But then I felt better coming down the hill."

Harriette Thompson completed the San Diego marathon 16 times in the event's 18 runs, each time on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to raise money for cancer research. She survived cancer herself, but her husband died in January at the age of 90 after a long battle with the disease. Both her parents and three brothers died of cancer.

Asked about whether she would participate in the marathon next year, she said it was "possible."

"I probably wouldn't be here if I didn't do this run every year, because it keeps me active all year. So I'm sort of being paid back for my efforts," she added in an interview with the Charlotte Observer. "People wonder how I can do it at my age, and that may be it."

The oldest male marathon runner is Fauja Singh, who was 101 years old when he retired from racing in 2013.

das/msh (AFP, dpa)

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