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75-year-old woman smashes three world age-group records

Jeannie Rice shattered the women's 75-79 world records in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m at the USATF Masters Track and Field National Championships

Jeannie Rice Boston Photo by: B.A.A.

A 75-year-old has shattered the women’s 75-79 world records in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m with a series of scorching finishes in her debut at the USATF Masters Track and Field National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Jeannie Rice of Mentor, Ohio, kicked off the trio of jaw-dropping performances with her 22:41.46 finish in the 5,000m on Thursday, crossing the finish line nearly four minutes ahead of her closest competitor. Her time beats the 22:53.55 record set by British runner Angela Copson last year, and slices more than four minutes off the previous U.S. masters record (26:55.11)

Rice followed up that perfomance with her record-breaking victory in the 10,000m on Saturday. Rice’s 46:53.07 handily cracked the age group’s 50-minute barrier, taking more than three minutes off the former world record (50.00.93) set by Germany’s Melitta Czerwenka-Nage in 2005 and more than eight minutes off the previous U.S. record (55:26.70).

Rice’s finale came Sunday with her 6:14.88 in the 1,500m, which again sent the age group’s world (6:20.93, also held by Copson) and U.S. (6:41.88) records tumbling.

All three of Rice’s records are pending ratification.

In addition to her record-breaking times, Rice placed first in her age group’s 400m final (1:26.68) and 800m final (3:15:22) at the USATF masters championships.

While her results in recent days have shown Rice is a force to be reckoned with on the track, the runner has long been turning heads with her success as a road racer. In April, three days after her 75th birthday, Rice set the women’s 75+ age group world record with her 3:33:15 finish at the Boston Marathon.

Jeannie Rice record

Just six weeks before she ran Boston—and before her 75th birthday—Rice won the women’s 70+ age category at the Tokyo Marathon in 3:31:22 to receive her six-star finisher medal, awarded to runners who have completed all six Abbott World Marathon Majors.

Rice also holds the women’s 70+ record of 3:27:50 from the 2018 Chicago Marathon. In 2019, she was named USATF’s masters athlete of the year. That year she ran 1:37:07 at the Akron Half Marathon in August to set an age-group world record and secured the three fastest times in the half marathon 70-74 division.

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