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495. Betty Lindberg, 97-Year-Old World Record Holder

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“That Saturday when I set the record and I was in the tent waiting for them to start the awards ceremony, dozens of people came up to talk to me, and they were from all over the United States! I couldn’t imagine why. I’m just doing what I like to do!”

Betty Lindberg is a local legend in her hometown of Atlanta, GA. She started running at 63 years old, and now, at 97, she’s breaking world records. Last month, Betty ran the USATF Master’s 5K Championships in Atlanta, and set a new world record for the 95–99 age group. (She finished in 55:48, smashing the previous record by more than 30 minutes.) Breaking that record was no accident: Betty is fiercely competitive (mostly with herself), and she takes her training seriously. (She works out six days a week. On the seventh day, she rests and enjoys her weekly hair appointment.) In this conversation, Betty shares her running story, talks about where her competitive drive comes from, and talks about her mid-race mimosa stops at the Peachtree Road Race every year. She’s a legend for a reason!

SPONSORS:

Shokz — Use code OTR15 for 15% off wireless headphones.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race — In-person registration for the July 4th event is now open! Click the link to register for this historic (Betty-endorsed!) 10K today.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On being a local legend (5:20)
  • Betty’s competitive nature, and what it was like when she broke her first world record at age 91 (7:45)
  • What Betty’s training and workouts are like (9:30)
  • All about the day Betty broke the 5K record (12:30)
  • How Betty celebrated her record (17:30)
  • How Betty started running — at age 63! (19:15)
  • On growing up in the 1930s: “You didn’t take part in any sports!” (23:15)
  • Why Betty wanted to run a half marathon (26:00)
  • Why Betty loves virtual racing (29:00)
  • The hip replacement that got Betty running again (37:00)
  • All about Betty’s workouts and favorite classes at the gym (40:00)
  • Betty’s advice for how to keep running into our late nineties (44:00)
  • What Betty is proudest of, and her advice for loving running (49:00)

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