Eighty-one year old has become staple in La Palma run for Fun

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Anni Eckel, 81, has run either the 5K or 10K in almost every one of La Palma’s annual events.

Anni Eckel, an 81-year-old La Palma resident once again plans to run in the La Palma Fitness Run For Fun on the Fourth of July.

A La Palma resident since 1966, Eckel started running at the age of 43 and participated in her first competitive La Palma Fitness Run For Fun in 1981. Ever since then, she has run either the 5K or 10K in almost every one of La Palma’s annual events. The past two years, she competed in the 5K, but this year she plans on competing in the 10K as she has had more time to train. Eckel started running with her husband at the Kennedy High School track and has never stopped.

At age 65 she participated with her daughter in her one and only marathon, running 26.2 miles in San Diego’s Rock and Roll Marathon.

“She is an inspiration to her friends and family and we are so proud of her achievements,” said her daughter, Annette Eckel. “To her, it is not important if she wins her division. What’s more important is that she finishes. To her, that is considered a ‘win.’”

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