A woman who made an appearance this week on NBC’s morning show "Today" died soon after that appearance.
USA Today reports that Joy Johnson, a retired gym teacher who was the oldest woman to compete in Sunday’s New York City Marathon, died Monday, just hours after she shook hands on "Today" with weatherman Al Roker.
Johnson, 86, died at Bellevue Hospital Center Monday afternoon. She likely died due to a fall she suffered before finishing the race for her 25th time, the story says.
"She wanted to die with her track shoes on," her daughter, Diana Boydston, said. "And she did. Literally."
Johnson, a California native, hit her head when she fell at about mile 20. She refused to go to the hospital and finished the race in about eight hours, her daughter said. When she appeared on "Today" — an appearance that had become part of her post-marathon ritual, including showing off her medal — she had bandages on her face, and told Roker, "It looks worse than it really is," according to TVNewser.
USA Today adds: "The 5-foot-5 Johnson took up running when she retired. She told the New York Daily News that her daily training in the weeks before the race consisted of coffee, Bible verses and an eight-mile run, plus 150 pushups some days."
The story quotes Johnson saying Saturday in her hotel room: "I always say I’m going to run until I drop. I’m going to die in my tennis shoes. I just don’t know when I’m going to quit."