GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — She’s running circles around the stereotypes of getting older.
Dot Sowerby is an athlete who has only gotten better with age.
The 90-year-old Greensboro grandmother has more than 150 medals across local, state and national competitions.
Her most recent adventure took her to the “Windy City” for the Life Time Chicago Half Marathon.
“There were 10,000 runners. That was awesome to be with that many runners,” she said.
There may have been thousands of runners, but Sowerby stood out.
She was the oldest.
Her granddaughter made a sign that Sowerby wore on her back that let runners and spectators know she is 90 years old.
“They would cheer and call me by name and say, ‘Oh, I want to be like you when I grow up,” Sowerby said.
To top it off, Sowerby set an American record for her age group at 3:33:47.
There’s a greater appreciation for her achievements considering that Sowerby didn’t run her first race until she was 50.
“When I grew up in high school and college, they wouldn’t let girls run. That just wasn’t something that was done.”
Sowerby has been going the distance ever since and remains intentional about staying active daily by either running, walking, swimming, or taking an exercise class.
“It’s so important for me to keep in training because that’s what keeps you going. If I slack off, I can really tell the difference.”
Sowerby is also inspiring people outside of running.
She’s the author of “Speechless No More” where she writes about living with the voice disorder spasmodic dysphonia.
She was about 45 years old when she noticed she just couldn’t get her words out.
“It was devastating. I felt so frustrated because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say or to talk to people and that’s when I started journaling, and that helped me a lot to get out my thoughts and feelings.”
Sowerby is also on the board for Dysphonia International.
Sowerby encourages people of all ages to keep moving and not to think that their best years are behind them.
“No, your years to come are your best years. We all have to keep going.”