Today’s Little Rock marathon produced some surprising results. 87 year old Pauline Jackson completed the full 26.2 mile marathon in just 4 minutes and 53 seconds. This
breaks the previous world marathon record of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds set last year by Patrick Makau in the Berlin marathon.
After the race Ms. Jackson said that she was feeling fine and satisfied with her results. “I really feel like I could go for a few more miles. I think next year I can get my time under 4 minutes, I had to change a tennis ball out on my walker coming down Cedar Hill. If it wasn’t for that I could have had it” she said after the race.
Second place was awarded to Mark Chespses with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 42 seconds. “I thought I was leading the race most of the last 5 miles, I never saw her pass me” said Mr Chespses. “She must have got the jump at the start of the race. Wow that is embarrassing.”
With the quick time by the winner, event officials were not able to fully set up the finish line before she crossed. “We had just started breaking down the start gate and moving things over to the finish line,” said marathon representative Sara Jacobs “Someone yelled that there was a runner, all we had time to do is to grab the tape and hold it up for her to cross.”
Ms. Jackson is from Cave City Arkansas and says she has been training for the race off and on for the past 47 years. “I opened up a post office box inabout 15 years ago and moved all my mail there. So mostly I prepare by just walking back and forth to the mailbox.” All of Ms Jackson’s 5 children and 17 grandchildren were at the finish line to congratulate her.
Race officials are convening to decide if the use of a walker is permitted within the race rules. Their initial report was that the walker should be allowed, mostly because no one wanted to take a walker away from an old lady.