Little Rock's ninth marathon was today. Six thousand runners and just as many stories crossed the finish line but there's one that stood out. It's about 74-year-old Betty Williams.
The confetti sprayed and the runners were off! Months of training get put to use as they pound the pavement for the 26.2 mile full or 13.1 mile half marathon, but among all the excitement, one face stands out. Betty Williams says, "I'm tired. It took all I had. It took all I had but I'm glad I finished." Those are the words from Williams just after she crossed the finish line of the Little Rock Marathon. This native Arkansan has completed twenty-seven half marathons and four full marathons. She explains, "It takes a commitment because you have to really go for it. If you're going to, you have to be committed all the way."
Williams says unlike a lot of the runner's in today's marathon, she didn't know how to train. So she walked and sometimes the other runners doubted her. Williams adds, "They're thinking, well... Since I have my loud pants on, they probably think I couldn't do that but it doesn't bother me." Williams didn't start what she calls a stress relieving habit until the 90's, with smaller 5-k's. However, she made the commitment, just like all of these other runners. Williams says when people see her do these races, she hopes it's an inspiration. She continues, "Well, I hope that, you know, if they see me, that the ones that are standing on the sidelines, if they see me, they think that, well, I can do this too. If it's a little bit of an inspiration even just for one or two people, I think I've met my goal."
This great-grandmother of seven finished the half in three hours and thirteen minutes. Next year is the tenth anniversary of the Little Rock Marathon and Williams says she's running the full race to celebrate her 75th birthday.