Female cancer survivor sets marathon record aged 92

Harriette Thompson has become the oldest woman to complete a marathon, running it in little more than seven hours and 24 minutes

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The Independent US

A 92-year-old woman who survived cancer has become the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, completed San Diego's Rock'n'Roll Marathon on Sunday, clocking in at little more than seven hours and 24 minutes.

She crossed the finishing line accompanied by her son Brenny, 56, to be greeted by a throng of supporters.

At 92 Harriette Thompson has become the oldest woman to complete a marthon (Getty)

"I'm fine," Thompson said. "They're really pampering me here."

She ran and completed the marathon the previous year too, aged 91. In fact, Sunday's event was her 16th marathon since she took up marathon running aged 70.

But she admitted Sunday's race had been particularly tough.

"It's always harder but this year has been a bad year for me," she said.

Thompson finished her 16th marathon in just over 7 hours and 24 minutes (Getty)

Her husband died in January following a lingering illness and Thompson herself battled a staph infection in one of her legs.

"I couldn't train very well because my husband was very ill and I had to be with him for some time and then when he died in January I had some treatments on my leg," she said.

"I was just really thrilled that I could finish today."

She admitted that the race had been her toughest yet (Getty)

The oldest woman to previously complete a marathon was Gladys Burrill, who was 92 years and 19 days old when she finished the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.

According to the race organisers, Thompson is 92 years and 65 days old at the time of the race.

Thompson, who survived three bouts of oral cancer, runs to raise money to fight leukaemia and lymphoma and believes the competition has helped keep her healthy.

"I don't think I'd be living today if I didn't do this running," she said. "I'm helping them and they're kind of helping me."

(Additional reporting by agencies)