Finishing a marathon at any age is considered a great achievement. It’s not often that someone can say they completed their first marathon after their 80th birthday.
Quebec’s Yvette Drapeau did just that when she finished the Quebec City Marathon on Sunday with her two kids. The 80-year-old had never before run a marathon and couldn’t be happier with her result. According to TVA Nouvelles, the Charlesbourg, Que. octogenarian figured she would finish in 6:30.
But thanks to minimal walking, she was able to clock 5:54:46 finishing alongside Brigitte and Andre Drapeau. The first-time marathoner was racing to raise funds for a Quebec youth centre. Drapeau raised more than $2,000 for the Longueuil, Que.-based Fondation du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie that serves much of southern Quebec.
Drapeau is a mother of four and grandmother of nine, according to CTV News, and she has completed half-marathons in recent years but never the full distance. In addition to running, she goes dancing on Friday nights to stay active.
Video (in French)
Drapeau got into walking and running when she was 73 and after Sunday’s race said that she felt like she was in her fifties rather than 80.
“She taught us all a lesson with her tenacity and courage,” Brigitte and Andre said of their mother after the marathon. All three enjoyed the experience and were able to cross the finish line together.
Brigitte and Andre slowed down slightly in the finishing steps to give Yvette the spotlight. The two cheered her on as she crossed the marathon finish line for the first time in her life.
More than 1,000 participants finished the Quebec City Marathon on Sunday. The race is known for having reverse kilometre markers and being one of the best Canadian races of late summer.
After the race, when asked what she will be doing next, Drapeau responded by saying “I’ll keep running.”