The 'granny who ran' turns 100

17:00, Jun 17 2014
Asta McCracken
STILL SWINGING: Asta McCracken, who turns 100 today, practises the vintage sport of swinging spheres.

Asta McCracken isn't done yet.

The Morrinsville granny, who famously chased after thieves who stole her purse two years ago, turned 100 today.

Since then she has been known locally as the granny who ran.

At barely 1.5 metres, it is hard to believe her tiny, albeit upright, frame has been on the go for a century.

She still rises at 7am, goes to bed at 10pm, and walks an hour every morning around Morrinsville.

"My spine and legs don't like being still."


Self-sufficient in her own home, McCracken continues to do all her own cooking and cleaning, bar the carpet.

She has no quirky habits, no ritual to swear by, and seems a little baffled as to how she has made it through 10 decades.

"A friend asked ‘who makes your bed?' I say, ‘I do'. She asked ‘who does the washing.' I say ‘I do'.

"She asked ‘who hangs it out'. I say ‘I do', so I'm not doing too bad."

McCracken, who only had one child, has just two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren - but that's life, she says.

"The best thing that came into the world is a microwave."

Asked what it was like to live through World War II, she said very little.

"I lost my brother, Milton. He was a nice boy, but they all are, aren't they."

She was with her first husband, Charlie Parsons, for 52 years.

"Then I had about two years free."

She was married to Jim McCracken for 18 years until he died.

"So that would have been 22 years this year."

McCracken will forever be an entertainer, and confesses she started the art of comic singing in her late teens and practised swinging spheres - an activity she hasn't given up.

"You had to entertain in those days, that's what you had to do, because there was no TV." she said.

"You had dances, but you don't get that now, that's gone."

Waikato Times