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63-year-old Joy Kelly qualifies for Boston


At about Mile 19 of the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, 63-year-old Joy Kelly tumbled to the pavement.

“I tripped and went flat down on my hands and knees,” said Kelly, who lives in Niceville, Fla. “No blood. Nothing broken. Just a couple bruises on my hands and knees.”

Undaunted, Kelly trudged onward. Upon crossing the finish line she glanced at her race watch and looked at numbers: 4 hours, 24 minutes, 15 seconds.

“I might have still qualified for Boston,” said Kelly.

Indeed she did, coming under the qualifying time by a whopping 45 seconds. To celebrate, Kelly dined at the RV park restaurant where she and some friends were staying.

A retired respiratory therapist, Kelly began road racing in her late 30s. She ran her first marathon in 2004. Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans was her fifth 26.2-miler. At 5 feet 1, 110 pounds, she’s in great shape.

Her advice to older people who want to live a healthy lifestyle: “I would say get off the couch and get outside.”