Woman With MS Completes 23rd NYC Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 11, 2011
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM UTC
Zoe Koplowitz comes across the finish line on crutches. Photo: Blisstree

She has had the illness for 38 years.

Zoe Koplowitz comes across the finish line on crutches. Photo: Blisstree

It took her well over a day, but she did it. Coming across the finish line of the ING New York City Marathon on Monday was Zoe Koplowitz who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Her official finish time was 31 hours and 20 minutes.

She says she couldn’t be happier.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to finish, it’s that I finish and I finish from the heart,” she said.

Koplowitz is a 63-year-old author and motivational speaker. She owns the world record for the slowest female marathon finishing time. She has suffered from MS since she was 25 and has completed every New York City Marathon since 1987.

A writer for the Blisstree Web site, Deborah Dunham, recalls the first time she witnessed Koplowitz come across the finish line.

“It was 1994…When I walked over there [to the finish], I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a woman, on crutches, still doing the race. I listened to the crowd marvel over the fact that she had been out there all night and was still going strong, determined to cross the finish line even though she had MS.”

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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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