Oldest Woman To Finish A Marathon Honored

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 5, 2011
Gladys Burrill is now officially the oldest woman marathoner. Photo: MSNBC

Gladys Burrill is now officially the oldest woman marathoner. Photo: MSNBC

She hadn’t run her first marathon until she was 86.

At the age of 92, Gladys Burrill has been officially named the oldest female marathon finisher. She completed the record at last year’s Honolulu Marathon when she power walked across the line in 9:53. The Guinness World Records confirmed the feat last Saturday.

On Monday, the Hawaii State of Representatives presented her with a ceremonial lei and a certificate.

At the ceremony, she imparted some advice to runners of all sizes and ages.

“Just get out there and walk or run,” she said. “I like walking because you can stop and smell the roses, but it’s a rarity that I stop.”

Burrill has led an adventurous life. She’s been a multi-engine pilot, mountain climber, desert hiker, and horseback rider. She didn’t even run her first marathon until she was 86 years old. Burrill noted that her inspiration to run the marathon came from watching the morning fireworks kicking off the marathon the year before.

“It’s so important to think positive. It’s easy to get discouraged and be negative,” she said. “It makes such a difference in how you feel and your outlook on everything.”

For More: NBC

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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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