Gunhild Swanson has set a new record at the Western States 100 mile ultramarathon, with the fastest time ever for anyone over the age of 70. With just 6 seconds left before the 30 hour cut off point, the 70-year-old crossed the line with her pacers, family and friends despite going off course and adding three miles onto her distance. I must have had the biggest smile on my face, she said. It was just overwhelming. I finished this sucker.
The grandmother is no stranger to grueling physical challenges. Since she moved to the United States in 1963, she has competed in more than 260 marathons and ultra-races with an incredible 14 of those coming just last year. However, she has only previously ran the 100 mile ultramarathon a few times but showed her extreme fitness in 2005 when she set the record for women between 60 and 69 year-olds at her second appearance.
According to Swanson, the races arent about setting records or impressing her family and friends. Instead, she just loves the adventure of racing. No matter the distance, she said. No matter what race it is. I love adventures.