An inspirational woman runner - 3/26/16


In 1984, I watched the first women’s Olympic Marathon. I was a 14 year old tomboy that loved participating and watching sports. I ran track and cross-country and played basketball. I watched football and baseball mostly, but when it was aired, I watched tennis, summer and winter Olympic events, Ironman Events, marathons, and track. I loved the endurance sports.

That day in 1984, at the Los Angeles Olympics was a special day because it was the first women’s Olympic marathon. As I watched Joan Benoit Samuelson break away from the pack early on in the race, I was thrilled and glued to the T.V. The announcers talked about her training leading up the event and the amount of work she did to get herself ready. She was a warrior with a physical and mental toughness.  Joan’s dedication to her training, and watching it all pay off with a gold medal inspired me. It inspired me to not only be a hard worker in my own training, but with life in general and that hard work will pay off.

The year before Boston Joan won the Boston Marathon in 1979, setting and American course record. She won Boston again in 1983 with a world record. After the Olympics, she won the Chicago Marathon with an American record of 2:21:21.

Joan Benoit Samuelson continues to inspire me as she is still competitively running, but she is also involved with the running community.