In the News: Run, Grandma, Run!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

There are lots of reasons why health and fitness are important, and we all have our own motivations for getting into shape. I always like to stress that getting fit now will help you stay healthy and independent as you age. After all, the physical decline and weakness associated with aging is usually a product of becoming less active, not aging itself. Speaking of staying fit, a surprising news story caught my attention today: Grandma gives thieves a run for their money.

Janet Lane, a 68-year-old British granny had just cashed her pension check. Waiting on a park bench, three young guys snatched her cash-filled purse and ran off. So what did she do? She ran after them, screaming at them as she went!

"I think those boys saw a little old lady and thought I was easy pickings, but there was no way I was going to sit there and let them get away with it," she told London reporters.

Turns out, Lane was a cross-country champ in her younger days and stays active by swimming and walking regularly. Her active lifestyle paid off. She followed them and caught one by the collar and he dropped her purse before wriggling free!

Even though police would discourage people from chasing a thief or attacker, I think that this is an inspiring story of how fitness can really make an impact on your lifeóno matter what your age! I hope that I can keep up with boys less than half my age when I'm 68! Go Janet!

Would you have reacted the same way? Do you think you could have kept up?

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  • 107
    I make up new lyrics to the Beach Boys Little Old Lady From Pasadena to sing to myself as I beach walk--"she don't walk fast but she do walk far, she's the terror of Atlantic Blvd., she's the little old lady from Pawleys Island--go, Granny, go Granny, go Granny, go." - 9/7/2013   1:57:35 PM
  • 106
    GREAT! I AM 86 AND MY "SONG" IS WALK, GRANNY , WALK :) - 6/29/2012   4:55:34 PM
  • 105
    "Go, Granny, Go!". That is like that song "Go, Johnny, Go" which I always get a kick out of. Good for this woman. I am a grandma and walk two miles a day plus go to the gym several times a week and one session a week with a trainer. - 6/28/2012   3:30:04 PM
  • 104
    Granny kicked butt! - 3/12/2011   2:09:12 PM
    This was such an awesome and inspiring story. Before I started using sparkpeople I would get tired just chasing my nephew around the living room. I haven't seen him in a while, but I know that I will be able to keep up with him a whole lot longer now. I hope that I can keep up this level of fitness. Reading this article made me want to get up and do my running for the day. - 2/22/2011   1:33:54 PM
  • 19PITSY53
    I hope to be there one day too. My grandchildren are surprised at how long I can chase them and I enjoy the look on their faces when we go out for a walk or jog. - 1/31/2011   8:53:12 AM
    Grandma 1: Theives 0! WooHoo! - 1/30/2011   12:18:21 PM
  • 100
    Go Granny!! Kick it in gear!! Woooot! - 12/31/2010   3:24:10 AM
  • 99
    I'm 46 years old and bicycle with a lot of people in their 60's and 70's who can leave me in their dust! They are an inspiration as to what life can be like for me when I'm a senior.

    You go, Granny! - 10/21/2010   6:36:10 PM
  • WANDAC2013
    The only way this story could have been better is if she had a black belt in martial arts...and used it on those punks! - 10/16/2010   2:55:53 PM
    I am a runner and CAN outrun some people who are younger than myself however I agree with Strawberry* moon - caution is a better idea!!! and safety first! but of course those stories don't make the news - so when these ones do - it encourages behaviors that are not wise! - 10/8/2010   10:03:29 AM
  • 96
    way to go grandma!! I want to be able to do that at 68years old! - 5/2/2010   7:59:11 AM
  • 95
    Absolutely an inspirational story. We all want to be fit enough to be a "problem" for would be attackers. They are looking for easy targets. My husband, then probably nearing 60, was traveling on business and witnessed a purse snatching. Without thinking (because it probably wasn't smart) took off in pursuit and the kid just kept glancing over his shoulder in shock! Eventually, as my husband just continued on his tail, he tossed the purse to my husband. Yay Seniors! - 3/9/2010   9:48:34 AM
  • 94
    Run on Grandma! - 2/27/2010   12:30:12 PM
  • 93
    My kind of gal in every way! I want to be running in my sixties, seventies and beyond, if I can... LIke Janet, I have also confronted thieves with indignation. I don't know if I'm nuts or just adrenaline-fueled but believe me, even police at one scene were telling me to "take it easy" on the guy! LOL! - 2/25/2010   12:58:12 PM
  • 92
    that is awesome! i'd love to still be able to run like that when i'm a grandma. but for now, i'm way too out of shape to chase after someone and i don't do well in confrontations.

    but i love her story! reminds me of the convenience store story. i don't remember all the details but a guy came in and tried to rob the cashier. an old man decided to take on the young robber. turns out THIS elderly man was a retired marine :D - 1/17/2010   6:07:27 PM
    This runner wants to be running strong like this granny when she is 67!..What an inspiration - 1/16/2010   3:05:01 PM
  • 90
    My goal is to be a granny runner. Way to go Janet. - 11/2/2009   8:47:18 AM
    I work in an area where not a day goes by where I do see seniors running walking or jogging. It is so inspiring to me and actually was the first thing that sparked me to be more fit. If they can run..why the heck couldnt I at 23!! So now I do...I can run 3 miles now straight in 30 min....Best record...but only to date! :0) - 9/30/2009   2:56:22 PM
  • 88
    There are two senior women (sisters) who jog every morning, all year, in any type of weather, in spite of our bitter cold winters (not fair weather joggers like so many are) in my Mom's neighbourhood. My mom is in such great shape, her out of shape overweight children ask HER for help with heavy tasks. But my sister and I have seen the light and are losing weight and exercising like we never have before! Spark people has really motivated us. Unfortunately, my brother and his wife are stuck in their junk food and pop world. My brother actually has nothing but diet coke in the house, hooking his kids on it. Its the only thing he drinks and does it regularily throughout the day! He works two jobs, so its easy for him to grab fast food for his meals. My mom would flatten an attacker, they wouldn't stand a chance! She is very strong and fit. - 8/16/2009   10:46:33 AM
  • 87
    I have no idea how I would have reacted; but I am glad she was not hurt. - 8/14/2009   9:59:01 PM
  • 86
    right on, granny janet! you, too, coach nicole! you rock my world! - 8/13/2009   9:41:30 AM
  • GG21064
    My mother is 79 years old. She walks three miles an hour for 30 minutes or more every day. She also takes Jazzercise classes twice a week. She carries five pound weights through the entire class. There is a woman in the class who insists she graduated with Mom, but she's fifteen years younger than Mom! Of course, Mom just says, "No, we went to different schools." After six kids and a career of working at a desk, she weighs the same as in high school and I think she's more active now than she was then. She's my inspiration. My father and several of his siblings have died from complications from diabetes. At 45, it's now or never for me. Mom could have caught those guys, no problem. If I can be half as youthful and beautiful at 79, I'll be one happy woman. She says she might look for something with less impact when she's 80, but I doubt it. They even give her a special rate so she'll stand in the front of the class to motivate the women 15 to 20 years younger than she is! - 8/3/2009   12:17:42 AM
  • 84
    Wow! Don't mess with Granny!! - 8/2/2009   9:43:31 AM
    What an inspiration! I will be like this granny when I am 67!! - 8/1/2009   2:46:07 PM
  • 82
    I love stories like this! A local news article about a college soccer player to outran her attackers in my hometown is one of the things that got me working out for the first time in my life. I hate the idea that I am an easier target because I'm out of shape. Now though, I can outrun my big bro, a skill that would have been more handy when I was 10. - 7/21/2009   11:41:40 AM
  • 81
    No doubt, I would have chased them down and they would consider themselves lucky to be able to wiggle free once I caught them. - 6/6/2009   9:49:49 PM
  • 80
    I remember when I competed cross country running in college I came across a women runner in her late 50's. One morning I was stretching and getting ready for my run, she came down and said to me "I did a 10-K yesterday and I ran 8-min/mile, not bad huh?" I smiled at her but thought to myself, "What's the big deal, 8-min/mile. That's way to slow for me." Twenty years later I run an 8-min/mile pace and finally understand how hard that woman must have worked to keep up her pace. Now I really appreciate older people who try to stay in shape. - 2/22/2009   6:03:36 PM
  • 79
    I've seen women in their 60's jogging around my neighborhood. Younger people who are too lazy to exercise should be ashamed of themselves. :P - 2/22/2009   3:17:42 PM
  • 78
    I don't know if I could have caught them, but I'm a granny from fight' Irish stock and I sure as you know what would have given chase. Don't know any other way of dealing with rogues like that. - 2/19/2009   11:58:45 AM
  • 77
    what a great story
    She could be like my Mother and wont have a key card (debit card) as she doesn't feel safe using it.
    My 32 yr old daughter tells me I am amazing for a 61 yr old
    She says she cant run as fast as I can. But then I only run that fast if I really need to. Then I pay for it as I am using muscles and am stiff even though I walk 3 klms every day
    - 2/18/2009   7:09:11 PM
  • 76
    That is amazing, I'm not sure if I would run after a thief or not but I guess if I just cashed a check then I probably would. My grandpa walked a mile everyday up until the week that he died, he was 96 years old and still walking a mile. Just reminds me that I need to keep moving because there is nothing stopping me. - 12/16/2008   10:22:05 AM
  • 75
    I may not run but I DO exersize daily at age 82. this is what keeps me going.Two hours daily week days and 30 minutes on Sat and Sunday. This is truly the fountain of youth! - 11/20/2008   10:26:25 AM
    First, I'm glad she's ok. No I could not have kept up with her. Second, it is very unwise to chase after someone. They could have beat her up, had a weapon and fatally injured her. Anything in her handbag could have been replaced. Her life could not have. That was a very unwise thing for her to do.
    I commend her ability but chastise her actions. - 11/14/2008   9:12:50 AM
    I know that I would not have tried to catch them, because I would be so scarred that I wouldn't have been able to move. She is well fit for a person her age. She still shouldn't have chased them because you never know if they are carring weapons of any sort. - 11/13/2008   9:04:52 PM
  • 72
    I'm only 27 (today is my birthday) and have drastically increased my fitness level since Feb '08. At this point I would be able to keep up and just maybe even pass them (once I snatched my purse back). ;-) - 10/24/2008   8:51:23 AM
  • 71
    I ran a half marathon about a month ago and there was an 83 year old woman that ran and finished the race. That is my ultimate goal, to continue running and strong as I get older. She is an inspiration!!! - 10/24/2008   8:39:29 AM
  • 70
    Nope I NEVER would have been able to do what she did for two reasons:
    1. I'm no where near to the shape she's in, but this is such a motivating piece.
    2. I'm a big chicken. - 10/21/2008   7:47:30 PM
    Way to go - from another Granny! I can't run very fast but I sure could yell if the situation called for it! Being over 60 has slowed me down some but when my 6 grandchildren come to visit I am a Granny on the run!! - 10/21/2008   1:33:41 PM
  • 68
    Great story...
    We all have a little spunk don't ever under estimate your strengths...
    Looks like you proved it !
    Way to go Granny... - 10/20/2008   10:08:00 PM
  • 67
    Even if I had stopped to think about it I still would have chased the boys. I'm 47 and not in good running shape yet but I would have given it my best shot.
    Often times our first instinct is the right one so I don't think I would have stopped the "think" it through. - 10/20/2008   2:43:34 PM
  • 66
    I am 55 and after reading this story,i am going to rev up on my physical routine so that i can run or chase-and what an inspiration this lady is! - 10/20/2008   12:07:54 PM
  • 65
    Although I'm not a granny I have a similar story. About 15 years ago I had someone grab me in the stairwell of a parking garage on my way to my car after work. I was never sure if they were grabbing at me or my purse but I shook them off and started yelling. He took off running and I took off after him. Although I never caught him and the police said it was a really stupid thing to do - it was instinct. As women we have to not be afraid to fight back. - 10/20/2008   8:48:34 AM
  • 64
    Ha! What a great story!! Just goes to show you NEVER judge a book by its cover!! Go Granny! - 10/20/2008   7:26:43 AM
  • 63
    Good for her! I often react before thinking, so I would probably have done the same thing. I wouldn't have been in good enough shape to catch them, but I would certainly have yelled! - 10/19/2008   11:27:10 PM
  • 62
    I'm a lot like that Granny. I don't always think things through before I do them. - 10/19/2008   10:27:34 PM
    That's awesome !!! Last year I would have been able to do it too. I will get back there soon. Two years ago I did the Disney Marathon and I had been practicing Karate (have a Green Belt). Had some stress in my life, but, I am back. I will lose the weight and get back to the Dojo and pavement. Thanks all. Oh yeah, I'm 60. - 10/19/2008   8:58:17 PM
  • 60
    Wow!!! That was an awesome story. I think direct deposit is the best...but a good reminder to be cautious where you are alone. Don't be afraid to run or yell.
    Froggie Gramma - 10/19/2008   5:32:13 PM
  • 59
    You go grandma! I think it also might have been an adrenaline rush, usually when something has happened you get a rush of extra energy...I am sure it helped that she was still physically active. - 10/19/2008   5:23:52 PM
    I am 55 and hope to be that good when I am 68 go grandma - 10/19/2008   4:58:07 PM

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