75-Year-Old Jeannie Rice Runs 3:33 at the 2023 Boston Marathon

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It’s always exciting to watch the Boston Marathon and other World Marathon Majors to see the elite and professional fields vie for a podium finish.

This year, for the 127th Boston Marathon, the running community and fans of the sport were treated with an exciting upset in the men’s race, where last year’s champion, Evans Chebet, beat out the pre-race favorite Eliud Kipchoge to take the win. 

The women’s winner, Hellen Obiri closed the last mile in five minutes flat to break the tape in her second marathon ever.

While these were certainly memorable performances, the 2023 Boston Marathon was rich in stellar performances further back in the pack as well.

One such shining race performance in the 127th Boston Marathon was the 3:33:15 finish time clocked by Jeannie Rice.

While a 3:33 Boston Marathon finish time is excellent for most women in the race who aren’t competing as professional runners, Jeannie Rice has something else going for her that makes her Boston Marathon performance all the more impressive.

Jeannie Rice, who averaged an 8:08 per mile pace over the 26.2-mile course, is 75 years old.

This was Rice’s seventh Boston Marathon attempt, and she said she feels like she has finally mastered the tough, notoriously hilly nature of the route.

During the winter, Rice lives in Naples, Florida, which makes simulating the hilly Boston Marathon course tough because of how flat her training grounds are.

With that said, although Rice loves downhills, she reportedly received advice to hold back on the downhill sections of the Boston Marathon course, as the race kicks off with about 6 miles of downhill running.

Rice noted that instead of crushing the downhills at her former 7:20 pace, she reined in her legs and cruised at a more comfortable 7:50s.

She said this advice paid off, and clearly, her finish time demonstrates a masterfully executed race plan and her command of the Boston Marathon course.

Furthermore, while most runners continue to slow down every year in their 70s, Rice has only gotten faster relative to her previous six Boston attempts: her 3:33 Boston Marathon time at age 75 is her fastest one yet.

The Boston Marathon isn’t the only marathon that Rice has demonstrated that she won’t let her age stop her. 

She has conquered all six Abbott World Marathon Majors to date (Chicago, New York City, Berlin, London, Tokyo, and Boston).

Her first standout performance came at the 2018 Chicago Marathon where she ran 3:27:50 at age 70, shattering the age group world record at the time. 

Furthermore, Rice ran the Tokyo Marathon just six weeks ago, where she finished in a blazing time of 3:31:22. 

However, she was still only 74 years old at the time, which put her in a younger age group.

Technically, Rice’s new Boston Marathon PR time improves the existing world record for the 75–79 age group.

The record is currently held by Norwegian runner, Vera Nystad, who ran 3:38:56 at the Berlin Marathon in 2022. 

However, it’s unlikely that Jeannie Rice will be awarded the age-group record for her 3:33:15 Boston Marathon time because the Boston course is not record-eligible due to the point-to-point nature.

The good news is that all signs point to the fact that this technicality is likely irrelevant, as Rice will seemingly smash the record at her next record-eligible marathon.

After all, it seems that Rice continues to demonstrate that aging isn’t slowing her down and we can’t wait to see what is in store for her next.

To learn more about how age affects running performance, check out our article here.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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