Woodside resident Judith Taksa Webb, 70, finished the 2014 Boston Marathon in 4 hours, 18 minutes and 23 seconds, slightly slower than her pace a year earlier. On that occasion, she was about a half mile from the finish line and was running at a 4:15 pace when the bombs went off near the finish line.
Being in the 2014 race "was very joyous because I was there last year," she said. "We were all compelled to be there."
This was her 10th Boston Marathon and her first in the 70-74 age category, she said. Ms. Taksa Webb finished first among the American women in that age group and second overall to Canadian Jean E. Marmoreo, according to official race results.
At 5 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing less than 95 pounds, she could fairly be described as being built for long-distance running. She is also the child of a miler. "Fortunately, I'm blessed with the genetics," she said. "My father was a great runner."
Ms. Taksa Webb started running at 36 and ran her first marathon at 46. Her training -- "When I'm not post-marathon and slightly injured." -- consists of two half marathons a week mixed in with shorter runs, she said.
She leads a group of older runners the Vintage Athletic Association who start at the wooden fish outside Bucks of Woodside and go for a run, including up Kings Mountain Road to Huddart Park.
She is a gerontologist. "I'm trying to be a model of what I'm trying to teach everybody," she said.
Asked if runner's high makes a visit during a marathon, she said it does not. Running the race "is like I'm having a baby," she said. "'Oh my god, get this over with,' and then it's over and you're elated."