Jeannie Rice is hell on wheels, even at 70 years old. The real estate agent from Ohio swooped though the city of Chicago in a blistering 3 hours, 27 minutes and 50 seconds to not only take first place in her age group at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, but to set a new 70+ age group world record in the process.
Rice beat the old record, set by Helga Miketta in 2013, by eight minutes. As one of the few grandmothers in this world who can physically keep up with her teenage granddaughters, Rice began running at 35 years old.
According to Runner’s World, she was born in Korea, moved to the United States at 19, and when she returned to her native country to visit family, she put on some weight. So, to shed a few pounds, she laced up her tennis shoes and began logging miles once she got back to America. Shortly after, she learned she had some talent in the sport. And, during her marathon debut, she ran the 26.2-mile course in Cleveland in 3 hours, 45 minutes.
In her 35 years of running, she’s completed 116 marathons and dozens of other races of varying distances. Her next goal: Win her age group in all six of the major marathons (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City).
With Chicago and Boston already crossed off the list, she has the NYC Marathon quickly approaching on Nov. 4.
In fact, after racing Chicago on Oct. 7, her training the next five days was still a 36-mile week.
“Because I like competition, I work hard at it,” she told the News-Herald. “You have to be motivated and disciplined. If it’s raining, snowing, you still have to run. I want to win.”
As for how Rice stays at the top of her game? There’s no magic potion. It comes down to making good life choices.
“Well, I know I have to be healthy,” she said. “At my age, I know anything can happen. But I don’t have a secret. For me, it’s not that hard. I eat healthy, but I do eat a lot of rice and I love bread. I don’t eat sweets, or hardly any fried foods. I eat at lot of vegetables, and I sleep properly.”
With that kind of dedication, my money is on Rice in The Big Apple.