85 years old and still running strong

Dierdre is 85 years old and runs about 60 races per year.



FONTAINEBLEAU – Dierdre Larkin is not an old fragile woman as at 85 years old, she is still running 60 races per year.

Larkin, a Fontainebleau resident for the last 45 years, started her running career in 2010 when her doctors told her that she was developing osteoporosis.

After numerous bouts with medication that made her sick, Larkin eventually turned to a dietitian who recommended exercise. Larkin joined the Fitness League and slowly began to feel better.

“My son, Richard Larkin, came to live with me. He would run about three times a week and I decided to try it out,” she recalled.

“It was hard for me at first but I would walk three steps and run three steps and within two weeks I decided I liked to run.”

The first race she competed in was none other than the KFC Valentine’s 10km Night Race hosted by Randburg Harriers. She completed the race in 2010 in a time of 01:28:00.

Dierdre Larkin and her son Richard after participating in the KFC Valentine’s 10km Night Race at Randburg Harriers.

Larkin then joined the Randburg Harriers Running Club and has not looked back since. “I love running races, especially the Valentine’s one because it doesn’t matter what race or gender you are, whether you are pink, blue, black or white. Running is an all-inclusive sport and everyone is friends on the road.”

Her best advice is to always end a race with a steaming-hot cappuccino.

Her most recent race was the Pick n Pay race on 12 February.

Larkin broke a record in her age group at the 34th Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Half Marathon and 10km Road Race in Pretoria by finishing the marathon in 02:12:36.

Her son Richard said, “I am really proud of my mom. She inspires a lot of people to reach for their dreams and to keep on running.”

To many people at the races, Larkin is seen as an idol with many people wanting to meet and congratulate her.

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Ashtyn Mackenzie

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