Record-holding marathoner turns 96 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Record-holding marathoner turns 96

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Imagine running your first marathon when you're 86 years old. 

That's what Gladys Burrill did. The Waikiki woman holds the record for the oldest female ever to complete a 26.2-mile marathon, and says there's a chance she could break her own mark.

"In 2003 I was here and saw the fireworks at the starting line at five o'clock in the morning," she said. "And I was so inspired I could hardly wait 'til 2004. And I said I'm just going to have to do it."

She entered and completed the 2004 Honolulu Marathon. In 2010, she was entered again.

"It took me nine hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds."

When race officials entered the data, it became apparent that at age 92, Burrill had become the oldest woman ever to complete a marathon.

The accomplishment was officially recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Burrill also was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame the following year.

"I knew that maybe I might be one of the oldest here. But I had no idea that I would get the Guinness," she said.

Burrill -- who goes by the nickname "Glady" -- was born in 1918. She was described as a stay-at-home mom, but always remained active, doing things like hiking and mountain climbing.

"I just have to be out there walking or doing something. And I try to eat healthfully," said Burrill.

Burrill hasn't completed a marathon since she set the age record. She still tries to walk about eight to ten miles every day, but lately she's been averaging only 30 to 40 miles a week.

"This year has been so humid that I haven't walked the miles I usually do," she said. "But it's cooling down now but it's a little bit close to marathon to hop into it."

So, no, she won't be competing in this year's Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 14. But she'll be there to greet runners at the finish line.

For now, she'll enjoy her 96th birthday. And she's still looking ahead, with no finish line in sight.

When asked if she'd enter a marathon when she turns 100, she laughed and answered, "I wouldn't run it. I would walk it.

"I'll have to wait and see."

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