They say age is just a number, and 67-year-old Heather Johns is proving that statement to be a fact. The Victoria runner recently earned herself the coveted six-star Abbott World Marathon Medal, for completing six of the world’s most iconic marathons. Tyler Bennett has the story.
For 67-year-old Heather Johns, the path of becoming a long-distance runner was a unique one.
“Well I was actually 49 years old when I started running,” Johns says, “I didn’t initially do marathons; I did my first marathon maybe 3 years later after I had been running already some other distances. I had a need in my life to do something more than what i was already doing.”
The Victoria resident then worked her way up to train for one of the most iconic marathons on the globe.
“One of my good friends Beth Haysom, when we were coaching our 60th birthday suggested we try qualifying for Boston,” Johns says, “And I didn’t believe
I could possibly do that, I didn’t consider myself a fast runner however I trained real hard as did Beth and we did both were successful in earning a spot and we did that in 2010.”
And once she experienced Boston, she was hooked on the sport.
“It was such an incredible thrill and to cross the finish line hold up the Canadian flag I thought, I gotta do another one where can I go next?”
And after Boston, Heather completed 5 other major marathons earning her the coveted 6 Star World Marathon Medal.
“I just was in Tokyo a week ago and did the Tokyo Marathon 2017 which gave me the 6 Star Abbott Major Marathon Medal,” Johns says, “I still am in awe that this happened that I got this incredible medal and achieved it.”
And Heather isn’t slowing down, as she now heads to Rome for another marathon next week. Johns hopes to inspire women who think they are too old to be active, to get out and train.
“Well I believe that just because they are older and aging as long as they have the desire and ability, give it a shot.”