Obit of the Day: Oldest Woman in the 2013 New York City Marathon
Joy Johnson, a former physical education teacher, began running when she was 59 years old. On Sunday she completed her 25th New York City Marathon, at the age of 86. Know for getting up everyday for a Bible lesson and an eight-mile run, she was also proud of her ability to do 150 push-ups into her 80s.
Since 2011 Mrs. Johnson was the oldest women running the marathon. Her best times was in 1991 when she broke 4 hours that year - when she was 64. Six times she finished first in her age group*.
During Sunday’s race, Mrs. Johnson fell near mile 20 and hit her head. She completed the race before seeking medical attention and then refused hospitalization. The following day she even appeared on Today, interviewed by Al Roker.
Joy Johnson died later that day, November 4, 2013, due to complications from her head injury and blood thinning medication. The great-grandmother had previously said she wanted to die running.
Sources: Yahoo Sports, USA Today, and NY Daily News
(Image of Joy Johnson, 2011, is copyright Randi L. Beach/USA Today.)
* Mrs. Johnson finished fourth in her age group. There were only 15 runners over the age of 80 in this year’s NYC Marathon and the oldest was an 89-year-old man.