A runner has died just one day after completing the New York City Marathon. Joy Johnson was the oldest female to compete in this year’s race at the age of 86. According to Fox News, Johnson took a fall around the 20th mile of the race and hit her head. She refused medical attention at the time and continued on to finish the marathon.
Johnson finished the race in just under 8 hours. The next day, she went to take a nap in her hotel room and never woke up. Her family made a statement saying they take comfort in knowing she died doing what she loved. Johnson herself made a comment the day before the race, joking that she would probably run until the day she dies.
While only 31 people who participated in Sunday’s race were over the age of 80, marathon organizers have seen a growing number of older runners signing up for races. Nearly 2,600 of the 50,000 participants in this year’s marathon were over the age of 60. While many runners sign up for the competitiveness of the race, many people are joining marathons as a fitness goal and to get in shape.