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Oldest woman in New York City Marathon, 86, dies from race injury

November 06, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the New York… (Maddie Meyer / Getty Images )

An 86-year-old San Jose woman has died from a head injury she suffered while running in the New York City Marathon last weekend.

Joy Johnson stumbled in the 20th mile of the race and fell to the ground, the New York Daily News reported. Medics urged Johnson to let them take her to a hospital but Johnson, running in New York for the 25th time, insisted on continuing.

After the race, she appeared on the "Today" show, where she was interviewed by Al Roker with bandages covering the right side of her face and head.

Johnson subsequently returned to her hotel where she felt tired and went to bed. She never woke up. The city's medical examiner said that she died of complications from blunt trauma.

Johnson, the oldest woman in the marathon since 2011, finished Sunday's race in 7 hours 57 minutes.

"At least she was running, the way she wanted to go," her daughter, Diana Boydston, said.

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