Not only did Harriette Thompson break the world record for the oldest woman to ever finish a marathon, she overcame a series of challenging personal obstacles to do it.
For starters, Thompson is a cancer survivor. So, when she decided to participate in her first marathon, it was out of motivation to raise money for cancer research. But this time around, training was particularly difficult. Thompson's husband died in January, following a lingering illness, and she developed a staph infection in one of her legs that hindered her training.
Despite those challenges, however, the impressive North Carolina native finished the race, nearly matching her time from last year. A classically trained pianist who has played three times at Carnegie Hall, Thompson reportedly plays through piano pieces in her head as she runs.