92-year-old cancer survivor hopes to set marathon record

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

For Meb Keflezighi, San Diego half marathon will be first race in masters division.

SAN DIEGO — Meb Keflezighi will run his first competitive race in the masters division when he competes in the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday.

With the Coronado Bridge as a backdrop, Harriette Thompson stepped outside of the Hilton Bayfront hotel Friday morning and began jogging along the bay.In a 48-hour span there was a meeting with a Chinese delegation, a photo shoot with a sunglass sponsor, a high school commencement address, a press conference, not to mention a panel discussion with energy bar scientists.It’s not yet officially summer, so large swaths of Southern California are not quite yet a harrowing place to be outside during the day, making late March a fine time for the 2015 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in America’s Finest City.

Keflezighi had a stirring victory in the 2014 Boston Marathon. ‘‘My goal is to go hard and be competitive,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel like the recovery is easier this year than last year because I didn’t use all my energy the last three miles. Weather.com is forecasting a high of 72 degrees with no chance of precipitation and light winds—excellent conditions for a day of long-distance running. It will be her 16th time running it, and last year she set a record when she finished the race in 7 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds, beating the previous record for a woman 90 or older by more than an hour and a half. I had the issue with throwing up but I was saving my energy for the last two miles of the race because obviously I couldn’t do what I did last year.’’ With a famous elite runner joining the field, tons of auxiliary festivities and plenty of neighborhoods set to be swarmed by thousands of runners, there’s a decent amount of info to sift through.

A classically trained pianist who played three times at Carnegie Hall, Thompson says she mentally plays old piano pieces she had performed to help her get through the 26.2 miles. “I just don’t think of myself being that unusual,” she said. “I have a lot of people saying what an inspiration I am. If she completes the 26.2-mile trek, Thompson will become the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon. “I don’t consider myself special,” said Thompson, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. “It’s just that I’m 92. The marathon starts at Sixth and Quince at Balboa Park, winds its way toward downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter, turns north and heads all the way up to Mission Bay along the 5 Freeway, then east along the San Diego River before finally heading back south and hitting the finish line at Petco Park. The “Today Show” is working on a lengthy feature about her. “People,” “Runner’s World” and “USA Today” told Thompson’s tale last year. She also detailed some of the other events runners and onlookers can enjoy in the city as part of the festivities. “There will be a 5K race along Sixth Avenue at 7 a.m.

The 1,600- and 3,200-meter state track champion his senior year at San Diego High, NCAA champ at UCLA, marathon silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. His own coach saying, “It’s been an honor coaching you.” A stunning victory at the 2009 New York City Marathon, the first by an American male in 27 years.

Keflezighi is honored to to run this Masters event in his hometown. “Since my recovery from the Boston Marathon has gone well, I’ve decided to race,” he told Stone. “I am looking forward to my first competition as a masters athlete and know I am very fortunate to run my first masters race in my hometown of San Diego,” he said, via Stone. No matter her failure or success, Thompson will be one of many striving for new goals in San Diego, making the day well worth the energy spent for all involved. It was almost a blessing.” Road closures between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. downtown, Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, Old Town, Bay Park, Little Italy, Clairemont and Linda Vista

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