86-year-old marathon runner dies one day after race

More Popular Headlines

Explore> More Popular and trending stories

Joy Johnson of San Jose was the oldest woman to ever complete the New York City Marathon. And on Monday, one day after finishing that marathon for the 25th time, she died at the age of 86.

Johnson's sister says the longtime runner fell on the 20th mile of the NYC Marathon but was OK'd to continue after visiting the medical tent. The next day, however, she died in her sleep. (Via KNTV)

ExploreRead more trending stories

Her family says it's celebrating Johnson's long and often-inspirational life. As was her annual tradition, Johnson visited the set of the Today Show Monday morning, after the race.

AL ROKER: "This is Joy Johnson. If I can ask you, how old are you?"

JOHNSON: “86.”

ROKER: “86. And this is your 25th marathon?”

JOHNSON: “In New York.”

ROKER: “In New York. My goodness.”

She began running in her late 50s, often getting up at 4:30 a.m. to train at a local high school with friends she referred to as the “Track Pack.”

In a Wall Street Journal profile in 2008, Johnson told the paper, "I've told my friends if I die here on this track do not call 911 because I do not want to be revived … That's the way I want to go."

- See more at newsy.com.

86-year-old marathon runner dies one day after race