93-Year-Old Inducted Into Marathon Hall Of Fame
Updated On: Dec 08 2011 06:51:57 AM HST
The Honolulu Marathon is one of the biggest destination marathons in the world. The annual marathon is celebrating its 39th straight year and also paying homage to a past participant.
Gladys Burrill, 93 is now a special part of the race's history. She welled up with tears as Gov. Abercrombie declared Thursday 'Gladys Burrill Day' in honor of her racing accomplishments. He also inducted the marathon finisher into the Honolulu marathon hall of fame.
One year ago at age 92, 'Glady' crossed the finish line in 9 hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds, setting a Guinness world record as the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon.
"All of a sudden it was overwhelming to realize I was crossing the finish line. Everybody was so supportive and out there cheering for me. It meant a lot to me," Burrill said.
Glady is no stranger to the marathon world, having finished four marathons since 2004. Her story inspired fans around the world, and her training partner, George McCarthy, said her encouraging spirit is contagious.
"She knows what she wants, she's determined to do it. She's gonna find a way to do it, and you'll do it with her if she wants you to do it with her," McCarthy said.
Glady's family came all the way from Oregon to Thursday's festivities to celebrate her accomplishments. They called the governor's proclamation a special moment that makes them proud.
Her eldest daughter, Celeste Sweat, was full of emotions throughout the induction ceremony.
"This means (to us) you can do anything you put your mind to," Sweat said.
The new inductee continues to inspire her family and fans and has reached a milestone most other people will never beat.
The Honolulu Marathon's Hall of Fame is selective when it comes to it's inductees, and doesn't necessarily have one each year. Glady's induction follows the late Mayor Frank Fasi's last year, after he was declared the true founder of the marathon. Glady is not running this year's race but instead is taking part in a charity walk.
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