A bittersweet story: with these words we can describe Harriette Thompson, the 92-years-old lady that completed the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego. Forty-two kilometres of effort, sweat but also determination and desire not to surrender to time that pass away. An historic venture, therefore, in a very real sense. Because it’s not easy for anyone to complete a marathon, even more so for someone over 90 years old. But what amazes everyone it’s the time that she took to complete the marathon: 7 hours 24 minutes.
Harriette Thompson: the disease and the regeneration
In this story it is not only important the result achieved but also everything that she’s had to deal with. A carcinoma and the consequent radiotherapy which marked the body but not the spirit. On the basis of this tragic event, overcome with patience and fortitude, Harriette Thompson decided to take part in charitable causes, for example the fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: a voluntary health organization that has the aim to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Disease can’t win every time: she could have thought when she started training some years ago, when she was 76. Intensive and regular practice sessions, reduced in the six months preceding the marathon, namely when her husband’s state of health have worsened precisely because of a cancer. Harriette refused to give up and she continued, with determination, her special mission.
Fear and the determination
At first she had reservation about this challenge. She doubted in his abilities: for her get to the finish line was not so easy. In an interview she said that her aim was to walk as as possibile. Harriette, however, really came through. She has gone beyond all expectation, but there was some difficulties: during the race Harriette thought of walking out but, with the help of her 56-years-old son Brenny, she remained strong despite the bad thoughts and the fatigue.
She did it for herself, for an idea but above all for us. A warning to never give up or believe that the passage of time is just negative. It’s not the case: the signs of the times have an impact, of course, but inside us we have to keep alive the conviction that every period of our life should be lived passionately. Never give up.