Johor grandma aims to run 71km marathon in 2020 after three years grieving over sons’ deaths

Tan Mei Zi
Partini didn’t let her age stop her from setting a challenging new year’s resolution for 2020. — Picture from Twitter/Cikfatimah

PETALING JAYA, Dec 31 — Life dealt a harsh blow to Partini Rosmanan when she lost two sons and her husband within the span of three years.

The 70-year-old, who has seven children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, used to stay active by running and gardening but everything ground to a halt when her sons passed away from colon cancer in 2017 and 2018.

Her daughter Siti Fatimah Zahra Abdul Hamid told mStar that her father’s death this year was another challenging period for their family.

“Mum was distraught at their passing. She was also taking care of my ill father until he passed away from old age last March,” said the Johor-born researcher.

Siti Fatimah decided to lift her mum’s spirits by encouraging her in their shared love: marathon running.

She hoped that the sport would reignite her mother’s zest for life and aid in the grieving process after losing not one but three close family members.

“I invited my mum to enter marathons because I knew she longed to go back to that activity.

“She was excited at the opportunity to run again.”

Siti Fatimah and her sisters teamed up to help Partini get back on the running track and they have already completed several marathons as a family since October this year.


Age has proven to be no barrier for Partini who aims to complete a 71km marathon in 2020 in conjunction with her 71st birthday on January 1.

Siti Fatimah even started a hashtag which translates into “71km mission for mum” to document the journey.

Partini’s inspiring story also caught the attention of Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Sultan Iskandar on Twitter.

Tunku Azizah retweeted Siti Fatimah on her official page and sent well wishes and prayers for Partini to achieve her 2020 goal.


Siti Fatimah added that it was always her aim to make running a therapeutic activity for her mum after going through a difficult period filled with loss and pain.

Since they began running together, the 27-year-old said she can see how her mum’s disposition and outlook on life has changed for the better.

“For mum’s 71km marathon mission, we are planning to do it over seven days with an average of 10km per day.

“We have already started training and we’re thankful that mum is becoming more and more enthusiastic and motivated.

“When we first started running together, she would either run too slow or trail behind us at the park.

“Now, whenever I think I’ve lost her in the park, it turns out she’s found her own gang of running mates who support her in her mission.”

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