She's run the Monument Avenue 10k since she was 85. At 96, she's still eager to win: 'It's such fun'

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 18:38:18-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- 2024 marks the “silver anniversary” of Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger.

Since 2000, the day has been about bringing together everything and everyone that makes the Richmond region special and unique.

One family has made participating in the 10k a family tradition that they look forward to every year. CBS 6 News Anchor GeNienne Samuels and photojournalist A.J. Nwoko share an inspiring story that defies age and embodies the spirit of resilience and determination.

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GeNienne, Kathleen, and AJ

Kathleen Anderson, affectionately known as Kitty, is a grandmother with a love for life, family, fitness, and her faith.

As she gears up for the Monument Ave 10k, she shared with GeNienne that when she’s not racing, you can likely find her taking a walk or gardening.

“Aren’t these pretty? I think they’re blooming early this year. Seems like to me they are.” Kathleen said.

She has a meticulous garden and five acres of well-manicured tranquility in Hanover, which helps to keep her smiling and moving.

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”It’s a pretty amazing thing when you think of it. You put a little tiny seed in the ground and it grows up to make big a tree and food you can eat.”

Kathleen has lived in her home since 1961. Being surrounded by nature has seemed to fade away during the six decades she’s spent there.

She says she is excited about the upcoming planting season.

I plant corn, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, a lot of tomatoes," she said.

However, this grandmother is prepping for more than the planting season.

I'm really looking forward to the Monument Avenue 10k. It's such fun. The neighborhood, you know, they're all outstanding, cheering you on as you go along the way. And two of my daughters always join me and my granddaughter," Kathleen said.

It’s a joyful annual family tradition.

I was 85 years old, we did it just to celebrate my 85th birthday.”


What made you think at 85 that, yes, I can do this?” GeNienne asked.

You just keep moving one foot ahead of the other one. And I really enjoyed, you know, doing things with the family, too. I don't know that I ever would have done it otherwise.”

This tradition was the brainchild of her granddaughter. Two of Kathleen's daughters, Pam and Becky, also joined in on the adventure.

We always hold their hands up when we get to the finish line," Kathleen said. “The first year I was real anxious, but after that, everything went so well and it's so well organized. All the volunteers are handing out water as you go along the way. It's just. Just a fun day.”


Now, Kathleen is reflecting on her 11th consecutive year participating this year.

She is 96 years young and still going strong.

Kathleen modestly shows GeNienne her collection of awards, with a touch of pride and loads of humility.

She's garnered 8 first-place and two second-place plaques over the years.

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“I don't feel like it was a big accomplishment of my own. I really think it's just, you know, you're blessed to be able to keep moving as long.”

In 2023, Kathleen was victorious in her age group as she beat the top time in the 90 to 94 age group as well, placing her in a league of her own.

Oh, that's a very happy feeling," she said, laughing.

But what truly sets Kathleen apart is her ability to inspire others, even without realizing it.

“May your commitment to fitness be an inspiration for the next generation. Hopes to see you at the 25th anniversary race next year. Bobby," Kathleen said, reading a note, handwritten on a Ukrop's brown paper bag.

How does that make you feel receiving that from him?,” GeNienne asked.

Well, it's very special. It's not often anybody can make a bag that special.” Kathleen said.

“Gives a whole new meaning to a brown paper bag, doesn't it?" GeNienne said.

It sure does,” Kathleen responded.

As she gears up for yet another race on Saturday, don’t let her gentle voice and warm demeanor fool you: she's playing to win.

I think it's really to try to be number one again. That does seem vain, doesn't it?”


In a world where the idea of slowing down is often associated with age, this remarkable woman is shattering stereotypes and inspiring hearts with every step she takes.

"Everybody should try it once and just see how much fun it is. Plus, just preparing for it keeps you in better shape and keeps you moving longer than you would otherwise."

As you can see, with Kathleen, age is not a limit but a testament to the enduring spirit of the human heart and the joy of moving forward.

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