Great Grandmother Completes Half Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 7, 2011

She hopes she’s an inspiration for others.

With all eyes on the runners at the front of the pack at Sunday’s Little Rock Marathon, one person may have been missed: 74-year-old Betty Williams. The native Arkansan has completed 27 half marathons and four marathons. And one other important fact: She’s a great grandmother.

Williams began running in the 90s, starting a “stress-releiving habit.” Like most runners, she started out with 5Ks. She eventually moved up in distance to the half marathon and then, finally the marathon. “They’re thinking, well… Since I have my loud pants on, they probably think I couldn’t do that but it doesn’t bother me,” she says of spectators who see her at the races.

Opinions aside, Williams hopes she’s a source of inspiration to others. “Well, I hope that, you know, if they see me, that the ones that are standing on the sidelines, if they see me, they think that, well, I can do this too,” she says. “If it’s a little bit of an inspiration even just for one or two people, I think I’ve met my goal.”

For More: Arkansas Matters

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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