Oldest Woman to Finish NYC Marathon Dies the Following Day

This is both very sad and kinda lovely: Joy Johnson, 86, finished Sunday’s New York City Marathon for the 25th time, making her the oldest finisher in the race. The very next day, she laid down to rest in her hotel room, and passed away.

She fell at mile 20 and hit her head, but insisted on finishing the race, like a true runner. Which I am not, but I know quite a few, and that sounds just like them.


“I always say I’m going to run until I drop,” Johnson was quoted as saying the day before the race. “I’m going to die in my tennis shoes. I just don’t know when I’m going to quit.”

“At least she was running, the way she wanted to go,” said Johnson’s daughter, Diana Boydston. Tear.


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