Maxine Swanson woke up before sunrise on her 75th birthday. Instead of staying in bed and being pampered, she was on a mission.
Her mission on Sunday was to complete 75 laps at Trojan Field in Madison. Swanson started at 3 a.m. Just a little over four hours later, she completed the mission with her family and friends witnessing the feat.
Swanson would alternate between a 100-meter run and a 100-meter walk during the entire time on the track.
"I did 18 3/4 miles," she said.
She got the idea from a man in Sioux City, Iowa.
"Roger Heinle started doing this since he was 50," Swanson said, "so I wanted to give it a try."
This was the most laps in a row that Swanson has completed.
While training for this event, Swanson added laps each week up until she was able to do about 56 laps without any problems.
Her youngest daughter, Kjersten Welch, gave her some advice as she was training.
"She told me to drink lots water and I did," Swanson said. "The only time I stopped on Sunday was to get a drink of water."
Swanson started running a lot in 1980, and she won a trophy for a race that year. She has been running ever since.
"My family and some friends were there to start Sunday morning, and they took turns running/walking with me throughout the morning," she said. "I really appreciated everyone who was there."
There was never a doubt that Swanson would finish the 75 laps.
"I knew I could finish," she said. "I never thought once about quitting. I could have gone on forever with the pace I was doing."
On her last lap on Sunday, all of her family and some friends, including her husband Jim, did the lap with her to celebrate this special occasion. The Swanson are longtime Madison residents.
The next time Swanson will do laps for her age will be in five years when she turns 80.