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Inspiring Journey of 93-Year-Old Marathon Runner Mathea Allansmith


By Shelby Leith


Meet Mathea Allansmith, a remarkable 93-year-old dynamo whose numerical age doesn’t define who she is, what she has achieved, or what she can still accomplish. In a stunning display of endurance and tenacity, Mathea has broken the Guinness world record becoming the oldest woman to complete a marathon, achieving this feat at the age of 92. Allansmith has broken the Guinness World Record by becoming the oldest woman (92 years 194 days) to finish a marathon. She finished the Honolulu Marathon in a time of 11 hours, 19 minutes, and 49 seconds.


Her participation in the 2022 Honolulu Marathon wasn't just a personal challenge; it shattered societal expectations and breathed new life into what senior years can look like. This extraordinary nonagenarian from Koloa, Hawaii, USA, proves that age is no match for determination. It's never too late to create your defining moment.


The Road to History: Mathea’s Start into Running


Mathea Allansmith is no ordinary retiree. At 93, this former optometrist from Koloa, Hawaii, stands as a beacon of late-blooming athleticism, having started her running journey at 46. It all kicked off in 1977 with a simple nudge from a work friend, C. Stephen Foster, M.D., to try running two miles a day. Mathea took to it like a fish to water, enjoying every moment outdoors, feeling alive with each stride.


This passion for running wasn't random; it sprouted from her background in healthcare. Mathea knew the power of keeping active and how deeply it affected overall well-being. Every run became more than just exercise; it was a building block to a healthier, more fulfilled life. With each marathon, she wasn't just clocking miles; she was living proof of the incredible feats we can achieve when we listen to our bodies and spirits.


Mathea’s Lifestyle and Personal Philosophy


At 93, Mathea Allansmith’s life is all about staying active. Her key to staying young? Running six days a week, every week, no matter what. She runs a total of 36 miles, greeting neighbors and enjoying nature in her hometown of Koloa, Hawaii. It’s not just exercise for her; it’s her way of life.


But Mathea’s routine is about more than just staying fit. It’s how she enjoys life and stays connected to everything around her. For Mathea, every day is a chance to live fully. She doesn’t let age slow her down. Instead, she shows that being healthy means taking care of your body, your mind, and your connections with others. Her message is clear: life is for living, no matter your age.


Here are some habits that helped Allansmith live a healthier and longer life.


Find what you enjoy

The Honolulu Marathon is Allansmith’s favorite event. “They have no time limit policy, so that allows even the slowest runners to finish the race.” Find a similar local running group. Running with a group not only helped Mathea expand her social circle, but it also boosts motivation and improved her athletic performance.


But if running isn’t for you, think about the gym, outdoor sports, athletic clubs, adult pickup games, and dance classes. Or if you like the idea of exercising at the gym but still haven't found something you like to do there, consider looking for a new gym with different class offerings, machines or even atmosphere. Stay motivated and challenge your body in new ways so that you continue to get strong, lean and healthy.


Eat nutritious foods

Allansmith is keen to keep her body fueled with the right nutrients, so she swerves ultra-processed foods. “I don’t eat crap. I count calories and food groups – protein, carbohydrates, and fats – religiously. And I make sure my weight is stable.”


Be consistent: Even if she’s got out of bed the wrong side or the weather is rubbish,

Allansmith puts on her running kit. “I don’t use age as an excuse to skip training or as a reason why I can’t do something,” says Allansmith. “My advice to new runners is to begin with a manageable goal and then start working. Just start moving. Your body will respond and adjust and then want more.”


No matter the exercise routine you select and the intensity, it should be accessible and able to be performed daily. It helps to choose exercises that fit naturally into your daily life.


Wear clothes that you know and feel comfortable in: Running gear essentials are a big deal for Allansmith. “I never wear anything new on race day. I only use things I have already tried –including shoes. I’m very careful to break in my running shoes for the

first 200 miles or so by using them in non-training circumstances,” she says,


Living one day at a time: Allansmith knows that life isn’t always easy. That’s why she focuses on what she can do right now, not what might happen later. She tackles stress by staying in the moment, taking life one step at a time, just like she does when she’s running.


For Mathea, every day is a chance to live fully. She doesn’t let age slow her down. Instead, she shows that being healthy means taking care of your body, your mind, and your connections with others. Her message is clear: life is for living, no matter your age.


Looking to the Future


Mathea Allansmith's eyes sparkle with determination when she talks about the future. At 93, she's not slowing down; instead, she's gearing up to tackle half marathons and 10Ks, eager to set new records. Her goals are clear, and her spirit is unyielding. "There's still so much to do, so much to experience," she says with contagious enthusiasm.


But Mathea's message extends beyond running. She's a beacon of encouragement, urging everyone to break free from limitations, to move, to feel the wind against their skin. "Start where you are," she suggests, reinforcing that age, young or old, shouldn't confine one's dreams. It's about overcoming obstacles, embracing challenges, and relishing every victory, no matter how small.


Moreover, Mathea's journey is reshaping how society views aging. She stands as living proof that our golden years can indeed be golden, active, and fruitful. Through her strides, she's not just breaking records but also breaking stereotypes, inspiring a wave of change in mindsets—one step at a time.


Shelby is a Registered Pharmacy Technician for over 18 years living in Whitby, Canada. She is a published writer who specializes in the field of medicine, health, nutrition and fitness. She enjoys expressing herself through words and often writes short, descriptive pieces, poetry or songs in her spare time.


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