It took Fran Drozdz so long to finish Monday’s 26.2-mile Boston Marathon that her husband panicked - and called the police.
Her husband, Stan, has cancer for the third time. She completed the race for cancer patients like him, running with a charity team of more than 550 others that raised money for Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
She is a cancer survivor, too.
Drozdz - aka “Thunder Thighs” - has run more than 75 marathons, at least one in every state, according to The Huffington Post.
She started running marathons at age 36 in Hawaii, where her husband was stationed as a pilot with the U.S. Air Force, she told her hometown newspaper in Arizona, the West Valley View.
She’d never run Boston before. “It was the people who were so wonderful,” she gushed to The Boston Herald about the legendary race.
“In front of people’s houses they had brand new socks if you wanted socks, brand new gloves if you wanted gloves. I’ve run 75 marathons and never had this happen. The people here have been wonderful.”
She started the course at 11:30 a.m.
She finished more than nine hours later at about 8:45 p.m. - dead last, pronounced Boston media.
(The Boston Athletic Association named Daryl Farler, a Tennessee native and double amputee, as the official last-place finisher. He finished more than three hours ahead of Drozdz. But the association only keeps its clocks on hand for six hours from the time the first runners leave the starting line.)
Drozdz’s husband waited all day at the finish line. When he finally caught sight of his wife, wobbly and shaky but smiling with media in tow, he took her hand and guided her through the post-race bustle to the finish line.
He had something special to place around her neck. When she saw it, she yelled in surprise.
“I get a medal? Oh, yay for my husband!”