LIFE

71-Year-Old Marathon Runner Proves Age Is Just A Number By Breaking World Records

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper, BlackGirlNerds.com, HelloGiggles, Oxygen.com, What to Expect, and more.

Jeannie Rice started running for exercise, but now the 71-year-old record-breaking runner does it because she can’t stop.

“It’s a part of my life. I get up in the morning and have a coffee and go out the door and run,” she said. “When I don’t run, I feel like I’m missing something.”

She started running in her late 30s and has competed in many major marathons in the US and overseas. She used to average eight marathons per year. Now she runs four per year.

“Last year, I broke the world record in Chicago Marathon,” she said. “My time was 3:27 — 3:27 plus change, I think 3:27:50, so I beat it by a little over 7 minutes.”

This year, Jeannie broke yet another world record for her age group during the Akron Half Marathon. “I wasn’t confident that I’d do it, but I thought ‘I’ll just do my best.’ That’s all I can do,” Jeannie told Runner’s World. Not only did she do it, but she broke a record that’s been held for several years.

“My Akron Marathon was world record time 1:37:01, so by 37 seconds faster than world record held by Australian for five and a half years,” she said.

Jeannie is currently training for the Berlin Marathon in Germany. The lesson she shares about running is one that translates easily, even to us nonrunners. “I always have a goal, and you try to reach out for that. If you don’t have a goal, there’s nothing else to do,” she said.

Watch this record-breaking runner in action in the video.

Footage provided by WJW Cleveland

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