"It's a shock to me," said Sondra Rose of all the media attention, social and otherwise, that's come her way since Sunday's New York City Marathon.
A video clip of the 77-year-old Cedarhurst woman crossing the finish line, many hours after the front-runners, was posted Nov. 1 on the TCS New York City Marathon Facebook page. It's since garnered close to 700,000 views, more than 14,000 likes and 3,600 shares.
The video also was featured with a story on ABCNews.com about the marathoner, who estimates that it took her about nine hours to walk the course, probably half of that time after the sun had set. Then came Wednesday's interview with News 12 Long Island.
"I'm having my one minute of fame," said Rose, who's concerned less with being a media darling and much more with the reason for her marathon participation.
Since 2008 when her grandson, then 3, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Rose has been raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through its fundraising arm. She said she's raised $350,000 through fundraiser spa trips, donation luncheons and sponsorships for her participation in various athletic activities, such as the marathon.
So grateful is she to previous donors who funded the research and treatment program that helped her grandson go into remission that she's made this fundraising cause a daily activity.
The unexpected fame is helping draw attention to that, she said, as well as her role as an example to others, especially "women who think they're too old" to lead active lives.
In the video, Rose, with a big, broad smile, crosses the finish line to whoops and cheers and shouts of "You made it" from fans who had dwindled in numbers but certainly not enthusiasm. After receiving the marathon medal, she heads straight to her husband, Marvin, and gives him a big kiss.
What's given Rose special delight are comments accompanying the Facebook post, including:
"Amazing, what a hero," "I hope this is me one day!" "Best finish ever."
Learn more about Rose's fundraising activities at: spamaventrips.com and events.lls.org/pages/li/sondrarose/srosee