“Age doesn’t stop my competitive drive. Running 2:46:10 at the Eugene Marathon at age 47… I learned that age was just a number.”Jenny Hitchings
Now at the age of 59, Hitchings has set a new world record for the 55 to 59 age group, finishing the 2023 London Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 27 seconds.
Jenny Hitchings is an American distance runner from Sacramento, California. Running was never a constant in her life until her university years when she started running for fun and to keep fit while at UC Santa Barbara. With no coach or training plan, two mile runs turned into five miles, then ten, and eventually into two marathons.
As the years of running continued Hitchings remained consistent in her training, surrounding herself with a running group that helped her get faster and faster. It wasn’t until her late 30’s that she really saw her potential and untapped talent and was able to excel after she was 40, with the help of a team and coach.
At the age of 47, Hitchings ran 2:46:10 at the Eugene Marathon, but narrowly missed the 2012 Olympic Trials qualifying standards by 10 seconds. So what did she do next? She kept on running! It is consistency, hard work and motivation that have allowed Hitchings to keep improving. In 2018 Hitchings broke four age-group American records in the span of just four months. Soon after in 2019 she broke an age-group world record at the 2019 NYC Marathon and showed no signs of slowing down.
“Ageing is inevitable and I know my body and how I run, physically and mentally, will continue to change over the years. I only hope that my running changes organically, and not due to injury or sickness.”
In April of 2023, just shy of her 60th birthday, Hitchings ran a time of 2:45:27 at the London Marathon – that is 6:19 min per mile and her fastest marathon to date! This placed Hitchings 25th for women and 1007th out of more than 48,000 runners.
A world class runner, Hitchings is also a coach, coaching just over a dozen adults, as well as a youth running club at a local elementary and middle school in California. An inspiration in and out of the running community, Hitchings is the epitome of longevity and finding happiness in doing what you love. With her sights now set on what she can do within the 60-64 age category Hitchings proves that age is just a number!