“Have you heard” questioned Janet Stockebrand in a phone call to the editor last week. “Gladys Burrill set a world record in the Marathon in Hawaii. She is the oldest senior to win.”
That phone call sent us to Google to learn more.
Gladys, matriarch of the Burrill family, and a resident of Prospect for most of the last 67 years, still spends some time there but much the year is now spent in Waikiki.
Marathon organizers believe she will be a certified Guiness record holder. It just takes verification of a number of records, from documentation along the 26.2 mi. course to verifying her birthdate and so on and so on.
Even before the Guiness record is established, Gladys definitely holds the record for the oldest Hawaii Marathon winner. Gladys is an agile 92-year-old.
She ran her first marathon at the age of 86 in 2004. Gladys was unable to complete the marathon in 2008 or the one in 2009. Her husband, Eugene, died just prior to the 2008 marathon but she wanted to run it in his memory. She lasted until mile 25. The next year she dropped out at MP 16, apparently having consumed something that did not agree with her. This year was different. She ran the 26.2 miles in nine hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds. (Can you imagine running or walking for nearly 10 continuous hours–at any age, let alone at the age of 92?)
Firsts are not new to Gladys. As pilot in 1964 she became the first woman in Southern Oregon with a multi-engine rating as well as the first woman president of the Southern Oregon Pilots Association.
Currently the oldest woman to complete a marathon is Jenny Wood-Allen, age 90, from Dundee, Scotland. Her record came in the London Marathon in 2002 and stood the test of age until now.
The marathon winner was a 27-year-old from Kenya, running the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 18 seconds.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent