Fearless Woman of the Week: The Rockin’ Running Grandma

Bellin Health Physical Therapist and Wednesday training run co-leader Carrie Stella offers the latest installment in this inspirational blog series

Week 2: Age Really is Just a Number — The Rocking Running Grandma in the Red Lipstick  

As a physical therapist, I am often asked “how old is too old to be running?”

The answer? You are never too old to run!

Let me introduce you to Harriette Thompson, a fearless, red-lipstick-wearing grandma who began running at the age of 76 and now has raised more than $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. At the age of 92, she became the oldest female to complete a marathon with a time of 7:24:36. At the age of 94, she became the oldest female to complete a half marathon with a time of 3:42:56. When asked how she felt following the end of her race she replied, “I feel like I did at 16, but I can’t move as fast.” I love her answer!

I encourage each of you to listen to your body, and embrace changes in your running as you age. Make aging gracefully a goal. At the next training run, I encourage you to look around and appreciate the diversity in our group of women. Each week, I am motivated by the women I meet. I challenge you to get to learn more about each other’s stories, and encourage each other to keep moving forward toward our common goal: to finish as stronger runners and individuals than when we started — no matter what our age is, or the color of our lipstick.   

Click here and here to read more about Harriette Thompson:

Remember, our Wednesday training runs begin at 6 a.m. at Bellin Health Bellevue. I’ll see you there!


Carrie Stella is a physical therapist with Bellin Health Sports Medicine who specializes in the treatment of sports-related injuries, including running and gait assessments for the injured runner. Carrie enjoys running for wellness, and completed her first Bellin Women’s Half Marathon last year with her mom, Judy. You may email Carrie with any questions regarding running or walking injuries: Carrie.Stella@Bellin.org.


Category Tag(s): Running Training

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