Woman of Power
In life, we all seek inspiration to do what we do. Inspiration keeps us going. We’ve all been told to work hard to achieve our goals, before it’s all too late. Who said there’s a clock to tell us when we should stop at achieving more? While many sit back and enjoy retirement, Sigrid Eichner is out there on the road, running.
Born on 29th September 1940 in Dresden, East Germany, the 74-year-old runner is an inspiration to us all. Thirty-three years since she started marathon running, she has shown no signs of ever quitting the game despite her age. Eichner is a World Record holder for Most Ultra Marathons Run and is even found in the Guinness Book of Records.
Currently residing in Berlin, the mother of three holds the record for finishing an ultra-marathon in 3:33:05 hours. Her house is stocked with her accomplishments of more than 400 medals, 400 cups, and you can imagine the amount of participation t-shirts. Possibly one of her most acknowledged accomplishments is her completion of the 1998 Grand Union Race—running non-stop from Birmingham to London, finishing the 233km tour in 44 hours. With so much under her belt as it is, you would imagine that she could already hang up her running shoes and enjoy the rest of her life, but that isn’t going to happen.
Set for a Mission
Sigrid set a goal for herself—to run 1940 marathons by the age of 75. It’s matching the year she was born on. When asked if age would affect her, she replied simply with a smile that she doesn’t feel old. Actually she said she felt more like she is still in her mid-forties.
A slogan that she lives by is “pain goes, pride remains.” Her love for running had even brought her here to Malaysia for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, though it was cancelled due to the hazy weather. Running wasn’t a full-time job for Sigrid as the running legend, who studied to be an engineering economist, worked as a research assistant in the computer center of the Academy of Architecture. Running became a way for her to “switch off” and escape the world for a while, until she took it far beyond imagination.
It may be a hobby for many runners in the current generation but running is something that Sigrid takes very seriously. In an interview, when asked what her goal was when participating in marathons, her response was, “To finish the race and not be the last one.” What may have sounded like a funny statement that was far from realistic, the veteran has proven to be as strong and determined as any young runner. The Berliner is looking forward to the Berlin Marathon next year that takes place shortly before her 75th birthday, taking her to the finish line of her life’s goal.