Kelowna seniors complete six-marathon major series

Marathon running at 84

Three Kelowna marathon runners recently returned home from Tokyo after completing all six races of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, with one of them setting a new world record as the oldest woman to ever complete the series.

Castanet News met up with the three senior runners to talk about the major accomplishment, and how it felt to cross the final finish line after almost 10 years of running together.

"I happen to be 84 years old. And I was the first woman of my age to ever complete the six majors," said world record holder Liz Borrett.

"Each marathon is 42.2 kilometres, and it’s just wonderful to have actually completed the six. My favourite city to run was New York. The other major that I really enjoyed was Boston, but then there’s Chicago, there’s London, there’s Berlin, and there’s Tokyo. Tokyo was probably the highlight because it was the last marathon of the majors that I did.”

Running partner Lynn Sparling, 68, says a ton of hard work and dedication goes into completing such a feat, but crossing the final finish line makes the accomplishment worth every second.

“I have to tell you, when you finish a marathon it’s like no other feeling. We all cried — I know I did — at the end of this one," said Sparling.

"And everybody said they had a cry at some point, you know? It’s a lot of work, but then when you’re done you kind of forget how much work it was and you go ‘wow that was great’, you know, pretty amazing.”

Checking the Abbott World Marathon Majors off her bucket list, Borrett plans to ease her way into running retirement. She'll still be participating in half marathons, as well as cheering from the sidelines.

As for her two running partners, the itch to go the extra mile grows stronger.

“I definitely want to keep going hopefully as long as Liz has," said 68-year-old Sandy Wike.

"My goal right now is to do 75 by 75. So, I need to keep up my annual average of three marathons a year. I did London in October, Tokyo in March, and so the next one is Wenatchee in April."

The next world major marathon is happening in Boston on April 17, which will be its 127th annual event.

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