CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After catching a red eye from California, a 91-year-old marathon runner returned to Charlotte Tuesday.

Her story is the perfect dose of inspiration.

Harriet Thompson says over the years she's been able to raised $90,000 for cancer research thanks to her friends.

She just completed her 15th marathon this past weekend in San Diego. Every year she runs in the Rock and Roll Marathon for a good reason.

It's benefit ting the leukemia and lymphoma society and that is very important to me that I support that and raise money for the research.

Thompson who's been battling cancer herself just started running marathons at the age of 76.

I had nine radiation treatments on my legs and I had that a few weeks ago, about 5 weeks ago and we were thinking that it would all heal up but it didn't heal, so I was running with these bandages on my legs. It didn't bother me. I was amazed It didn't bother me at all.

This year, she set a world record the fastest marathon ever run by a woman over the age of 90, and she's the second oldest person in recorded history to complete a marathon.

That was a bonus. I really didn't think about that at all.

What she was thinking about was getting to the finish line.

It started around mile 17 and 18. I was thinking if I just get to the 20's, then I think I can make it. Then in the 20's they had hills and that was hard going up those hills. I never even noticed the hills before, but this time I was aware.

Aware but the hills didn't stop her. Part of what kept her going was her son, who was right behind her.

He was throwing cold water on my shoulders and helping me and feeding me. I think I gained weight because I was eating a lot and just trying to keep up my energy.

And the last couple of miles I finally realized I guess I can make this. I was really surprised that I could finish.

Will she run the marathon next year?

If I m still here next year, I'd like to. I don't know if my friends would be happy to hear that because I'm always asking them for money.

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