17/10/2017 11:03 SAST | Updated 17/10/2017 11:40 SAST

She Started Running At The Age Of 78 -- And 'Never Thought Twice About How Old She Was'

Meet the super running granny: Deirdre Larkin.

Beautiful News

Deirdre Larkin took up running only at 78 -- and today, the 86-year-old has more than 500 medals to her name.

Beautiful News

The doctor diagnosed her as being osteopenic -- considered a precursor to osteoporosis, in 2001.

The Johannesburg resident then took up running, inspired by her son. A few steps turned into faster steps and within a month, she had completed the Randburg Harriers Valentine's 10km.

In 2009, the music teacher ran 36 races and increased that to 58 races the following year.

She has broken the 10km record for South African women over 70 in 2013, as well as the world record for women over 80 on that distance with a time of 54 minutes and 17 seconds.

"I'm just amazed that I found something I seem to be good at, at my age," she told Beautiful News.

'Randburg's Grand Dame', as she is affectionately known, trains four times a week, starting at 5:30am to cover seven kilometres a day. She also tries to participate in at least one race per weekend.

"When I started running at the age of 78, I never thought twice about how old I was. I just started as I wanted to try running. You're never too old to start trying."

"I hope I'm not slowing down anytime soon," she said.

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