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'You're kidding me' | 70-year-old North Texan wins first place for her age group at Boston Marathon

The avid runner surpassed her dream of being among the top three for her age group: She came in first place with a time of 3:38 — just three minutes shy of her goal.

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — A North Texas woman is celebrating a huge accomplishment from the 127th Boston Marathon.

Debbie Clark, of Colleyville, Texas won her age group this year.

“I feel so good,” Clark said after returning home.

Clark, 70, is a wife and grandmother. She admits running hasn’t always been a passion. She became more serious about running as an adult.

“Right when I turned 50, one of my daughters said I thought you were going to run a marathon by the time you turned 50,” said Clark. 

Eventually, small races lead to major marathons across the globe. However, Clark said something that happened while running the Boston Marathon back in 2013 stands out.

“When I finished, my phone was going off. Congratulations! And then all of a sudden it was, like, what happened? What happened? What happened? I’m, like, what do you mean what happened? And we realized those sounds were bombs,” shared Clark. 

Celebrating a personal record that race quickly stopped, as bombs went off during a domestic terror attack.

“It was so scary,” said Clark. 

Like many runners, one decade after the bombing, Clark said the motivation to return to the Boston Marathon was heightened. She was among the crowd of thousands of reliant runners in the highly secured streets. 

She saw her husband Mike at the finish like.

“He says, ‘You’ve got first!’ And I said, ‘You’re kidding me,’” recalled Clark. 

The avid runner surpassed her dream of being among the top three in her age group this year. She came in first place for her age group, with a running time of 3:38 (her goal was 3:35).

“I’m like, oh my gosh! Finally!”

For a woman who runs one marathon a year, two at most, Clark said she might consider slowing down a bit. However, for now, she is thinking about running toward World Majors and a few more events. 

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