At the Publix Atlanta 5K event in February 2023, 98-year-old Betty Lindberg of Atlanta set a new world record by
finishing in 59 minutes and 6 seconds. The elderly woman holds the five-kilometer race’s world record for the 95 to 99 age bracket.
According to the Marathon Handbook, an intermediate female runner between the ages of 60 and 70 may complete a five-kilometer race in an average of 35 minutes,
but an intermediate female runner between the ages of 80 and 90 can accomplish the same distance in an average of 50:25 minutes.
For runners older than 90 years old, there is no approximation of a time record, nevertheless.
As Lindberg began running marathons at the age of 63 and has never given up in the face of difficulty or hip replacement surgery,
she is not a beginner. As she was caring for her husband, who had Parkinson’s illness in 2005, she only missed one race. The year after that, he passed away.
In order to keep up with the pace when running moved online due to lockdowns in 2020, Lindberg and her 69-year-old daughter Kerry—the family’s first marathon runner—entered these races online as well.
The 98-year-old runner had to learn how to use an iPhone and an Apple Watch in order to keep track of events and
send the USA Track & Field her completion times and scores (USATF). Lindberg completed seven virtual racing courses of differing lengths throughout this time.
As a participant in the Atlanta Track Club, the grandma has a well-established training regimen. Although she works out six days a week, she takes the Saturday she spends at the salon off.
When Lindberg crossed the finish line of the 2023 Publix Atlanta 5K event, she appeared to be a complete professional.
She instantly came to a stop to see her time on the watch, smiled at the people cheering the runners, and then continued.
She did not actually run at her record pace; rather, she walked quickly. Her record pace per kilometer was 11 minutes.
In 2020, Lindberg stated Getting Bolder, ‘I employ the race-walking strategy, which works fantastic for me. ‘Everyone benefits much from walking. I implore everyone to only begin moving.
The outstanding woman doesn’t understand the fanfare surrounding her jogging or why complete strangers approach her,
compliment her accomplishments, or cheer for her on the streets. Lindberg is completely aware that, despite the fact that these competitors are half her age,
she is nowhere close to their fastest times. Then again, she doesn’t think that age is a factor in running.
She said to Atlanta News First, ‘I am delighted that people are inspired by me, but it is not my intention to go
out there and do that. ‘I move as quickly as I can. Even though it takes me a while to complete a race, I do it.
In addition, Lindberg acknowledged that each race and training session leave her with physical aches and pains.
She used to promise her kids and grandkids she wouldn’t sign up for another race, but every year she starts her training earlier than she had planned.
She confessed to 11 Alive, ‘I guess I just don’t know any better,’ in 2022. All the aches and pains magically vanish as soon as I cross the finish line.