Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
4 minute read
4 Sep 2021
7:40 am

Record-breaking 89-year-old granny hits the road after Osteoporosis diagnosis

Wesley Botton

She has since become one of South Africa’s most inspirational world record holders.

World Record Holder for 10km Woman 85+ years category Deirdre Larkin poses for a photograph, 17 August 2021, promoting the Summer Series Heart Run 2021 hosted by Run Zone Athletics Club which starts on 19 September. Run Zone Athletics Club has teamed up with The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa for this Summer Series Heart Run to promote awareness of having a Healthy Heart through the exercise of walking and running. Picture: Michel Bega

Not very sporty in her youth, Deirdre Larkin turned to regular exercise for the first time for health reasons in her 70s and she has since become one of South Africa’s most inspirational world record holders. Sitting at a garden table outside her home in Randburg, where she has lived most of her adult life, Larkin recalls how she took up road running 11 years ago, at the age of 78. “My doctor told me I had osteoporosis and he suggested I have an operation,” Larkin says. Having previously undergone surgery to straighten her spine, after the birth of her...