[Boston wasn’t Drozdz’s first running rodeo. She has a nose for the finish line/Twitter]
It takes a special kind of person to make finishing a race dead last feel like a win, but Fran Drozdz is just that person.
A 72-year-old cancer survivor, Drozdz had run more than 75 marathons when she signed up for the Boston Marathon with a charity team supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The West Valley View reports that Drozdz raised more than $5000 for charity to join the race, and dedicated the run to her husband Stan, who is battling cancer for the third time.
Of course, she wasn’t expecting to win when she began at 11:30am, but Drozdz — who goes by the nickname “Thunder Thighs” — also wasn’t expecting to finish dead last.
Yet that’s what she did — at 8:45pm on Monday evening, more than nine hours after setting off. Her time was a good three hours slower than the official last place finisher, a double amputee from Tennessee. The officiators had already packed up and gone home, and all that was left of the race was the clean-up crew, reports the Kansas City Herald.
In fact, she came in so late that her husband, afraid she had gotten lost along the way, had already called the police.
Stan was waiting by the finish line when she finally arrived, followed by a throng of media. He even had a special medal to hang around her neck.
“She’s 72 years old and she’s done 77 marathons,” he told NECN News. “I’m one year older and I’ve done no marathons, so of course I’m proud of her.“
Despite her comically abysmal time, Drozdz was all smiles, happily chatting with reporters about her unusual race.
“It was the people who were so wonderful,” she told the Boston Herald. “I’ve run 75 marathons and never had this happen. The people here have been wonderful.”
Drozdz has finished a marathon in all 50 states, but says she’s not stopping now. In fact, she’s already well into her second round of all 50 states. Now that’s what we call finishing Boston strong.