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Honolulu marathoner, 92, makes Guinness record book

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  • DENNIS ODA / 2008
    Gladys Burrill

The Guinness Book of World Records has officially confirmed that part-time Honolulu resident Glady Burrill is the oldest female ever to finish a marathon.

Burrill, who splits her year between her home in Prospect, Ore., and her condominium in Waikiki, was 92 years and 19 days old when she completed the Dec. 12 Honolulu Marathon in nine hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds. It was the fifth time in seven attempts that the popular senior racer completed the 26.2-mile race. Burrill was unable to complete the race in her previous two attempts.

The previous record was held by Jenny Wood-Allen of Dundee, Scotland, who completed the 2002 London Marathon at age 90.

Burrill, also known as the "Gladyator," ran her first marathon in 2004 at the age of 86 and has returned to Honolulu each year since, earning an enthusiastic following among her fellow runners and those cheering along the sidelines.

Honolulu Marathon spokesperson Pat Bigold said the record was confirmed relatively quickly because the each of the factors — Burrill’s age, the length of the race and Burrill’s completion and time (as measured by the Sportstats timing service) — were all easily verifiable. 

Burrill’s achievement marks the first record of any kind set at the Honolulu Marathon.

The state House will honor Burrill with a special resolution on Monday.

Burrill has not indicated whether she will attempt to break her record at the 2011 Honolulu Marathon, scheduled for Dec. 11.


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