Dorothy "Dot" Wall will compete with some of the best marathon runners in the world Nov. 4 at the ING New York City Marathon.
Yet Wall could easily be confused as the grandmother of some of her 38,000 competitors.
Wall, 74, picked up running late in life at age 40, but her passion has since become a way of life.
"Running is a lifetime sport. Once you start, it's an addictive thing," Wall said. "It's just what I do. It's just me."
Wall, a grandmother of two, runs six days a week at The Islander Golf Course and Country Club and also makes time to lift weights.
Some of her friends, such as Maxine Burnstine, are proud of the fact she defies many of the stereotypes of people her age.
"We're proud to think a woman our age can still keep herself in great shape and accomplish things," Burnstine said. "She's just a very positive person and strong woman."
Wall is no novice when it comes to marathons.
She began competing after she retired in 1998 and has since run four marathons including ones in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans.
If anything, the NYC landscape will be familiar. She won first place in 2003 at the More Marathon in Central Park, where she competed with women over the age of 40.
Wall trains for 16 weeks for every marathon and keeps herself motivated by focusing on the end result: the finish line.
"I don't care if I'm last," Wall said. "I think they'd have to haul me off the course. Never would I quit."
Wall will have a little help when she runs the last six miles of the grueling 26.2-mile marathon.
Her two daughters, Nancy and Valerie Wall, will run next to her.
"I think it's important for my mom because that part of the race is the hardest," said Nancy Wall, of Chicago. "You need moral support. That's why we're planning on running, just to give her some extra support when she's going to need it most."
After about nine years training for marathons, Dorothy Wall said the NYC Marathon could be her last.
"I'm getting to the place where I'm getting to the end of my run," Dorothy Wall said. "If I can still do it, I might try one more. Who knows?"