She was rounding the final curve, the finish line in sight. The Buck Godfrey Stadium in Decatur, Georgia was less than 25% full. The small and mighty crowd was roaring. As the poof of gray hair bobbed towards the finish line, the number 6 affixed to the left leg of her steady stride, runners rushed towards the track to cheer the final historic moment.
Ninety-two-year-old Betty Lindberg barely noticed. . “I sort of heard people yelling, but I was concentrating so hard to keep going those last 100 meters," she said.
Her eyes were straight ahead, her arms pumping. When she crossed the 400 meter finish line, the camera following the action panned to the clock to confirm it: she just broke a record. Again.
When the camera panned back, Betty's hands were on her knees. And then, she stands up and smiles.
“I’m very pleased with what I did,” she said. It wasn't the first time.
Less than a year ago, Lindberg set a world record in the 800 meters with a time of 6:57.56. She said this record, 3:05.01 for the 400 meters for women's 90+ division, was different because she went in knowing there was a record to break.
“It was a lot more pressure this year,” Lindberg said. “This year I knew what the record was. It seemed everyone knew what the record was. My daughter, my son and my son-in-law were there. My personal trainer showed up. And you guys at the Club knew, too. So there was a little bit of pressure.”
Her latest track performance shattered a 21-year record by more than forty seconds.