Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gladys the Gladyator

My Aunt Cindy (whose father recently completed 50 marathons in 50 states at 71 years young!) shared with me this story of Gladys the Gladyator... and consider me humbled. My only goal for age 92 was to be able to sit partially upright and watch a full episode of Golden Girls without falling asleep, but Gladys is putting me to shame... many times over. She ran her first marathon at age 86, and before that, she was a pilot, mountain climber, desert hiker and horseback rider.

I'm starting to feel bad about myself, so maybe I'll just let her story speak for itself...

'Gladyator' aged 92 breaks marathon record

A 92-year-old woman from Hawaii has broken a world record when she completed the Honolulu Marathon.

Gladys Burrill, nicknamed "the Gladyator", power-walked and jogged the length of the 26.2 mile route in a time of nine hours and 53 minutes to become the oldest person in the world to complete a marathon.

She undertook the feat in December, but Guinness World Records has finally confirmed her accomplishment and the Hawaii House of Representatives has honoured her with a certificate and lei at a special ceremony.

Ms Burrill ran her first marathon aged 86 and regularly walks 45 miles a week. A former pilot and mountain climber, she trained for the Honolulu Marathon by walking 2,600 miles.

Her achievement eclipsed the previous record held by Jenny Wood-Allen of Dundee, Scotland, who was 90 years old when she completed the 2002 London Marathon.

Burrill said the secret to longevity and fitness was to "get out there and walk or run.”

"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."

She has completed a total of five Honolulu Marathons.


  1. WOW ... people like Gladys are so inspirational ... you go girl!

  2. That is the most awesome story ever!! OK, next January, when I am attempting my first marathon, and I think I am going to die - I will think about Gladys and realize that I can do anything. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Is there a way to get an autographed picture as inspiration for someone who declares Gladys is her idol? She started running half-marathon races recently while caring for a chronically ill family member.