NYC Marathon: Oldest Runner, 86, Dies Day After Race

Joy Johnson has been running for the last 25 years

By on November 6th, 2013 09:51 GMT

An 86-year-old woman from San Jose, California has passed away just one day after running the New York City marathon.

According to the NY Daily News, Joy Johnson would jog on a daily basis. Her family describe that she would be happy knowing that she went doing what she loved.

“At least she was running, the way she wanted to go. [...] I got to tell her I loved her. That’s what’s been keeping me going,” her daughter, Diana Boydston, expresses.

“I always say I’m going to run until I drop. [...] I’m going to die in my tennis shoes. I just don’t know when I’m going to quit,” she told other runners on Sunday.

She was found on her hotel bed on Monday afternoon, and she had finished the race a day before. She ran for seven hours, 57 minutes and 41 seconds.

“I’ll be at the back of the pack, but I don’t mind. I just praise the Lord I can get out of bed each morning and run. A lot of people my age are in wheelchairs,” she said before the event.

This was Joy's 25th time finishing the New York City Marathon, and she has been running for just as many years.

She took up running regularly after retiring from her job as a gym teacher. Grind TV documents that she has been the oldest woman in the Marathon for the last three years.

The cause of her death was attributed to a fall she took during the Marathon. She hit her head and she was taking blood-thinning medication. She also suffered from a minor heart flutter.

Joy got to shake Al Roker's hand during a “Today show” appearance. She was accompanied by her sister, 83-year-old Faith Anderson.

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