ATLANTA -- Betty Lindberg has finished more AJC Peachtree Road Races than any other woman.

At age 88, she doesn't plan to slow down anytime soon.

"I hired a trainer last February to get training and my body strength built up," she said, adding that she was disappointed with her time in 2012. "I said, I have to train better."


Lindberg has been logging more practice miles than in the past.

"It is so easy to just sit and make excuses not to do something and not to get out there and move," she said.

She completes shorter walks with Bo, but the 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel is slowing down.

"Up until a year ago, he could stick with me two to three miles," Lindberg said.

The Peachtree's oldest female runner is no stranger to the July 4 6.2-mile trek from Buckhead to Midtown. Two decades' worth of race day pictures accompany photos of her late husband in her home office.

But more cherished than race day snapshots are the T-shirts -- 23 races, 23 T-shirts. During periods of self-doubt, that T-shirt is Lindberg's motivation.

"I know every time I hit 14th Street, I say, 'This is the last time I'm going to do this, I'm never going to do this again, you are a fool to be out here,'" she said.

Lindberg's Peachtree inspiration came late. She was at the finish line cheering for her daughter when she decided to give the race a try. Fitness was not a part of her life until age 63.

"Certainly never did a road race, or even gone for a walk in the neighborhood," she said.

After running her first eight Peachtrees, Lindberg shifted to a run/walk and now racewalks the entire course. She's even certified to judge racewalkers. It's easy on the knees, but still a great workout.

Humble Lindberg initially didn't understand why 11Alive was interested in her story.

"There aren't any other 88-year-old ladies doing this?" she said. "Hmmm. Maybe they're smarter."

"It's a challenge to me, and as long as I can do it, I'm going to keep doing it," she added.

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