Presented By:John Hancock Logo

Boston Marathon History: 1981-1985

 

85th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 20, 1981

Japan’s Toshihiko Seko, the 1979 runner-up, set a course record of 2:09:26 to beat Americans Craig Virgin and Bill Rodgers. Seko eclipsed Rodgers’s 1979 mark by a single second. He made his move at the back of Heartbreak Hill, passed Rodgers, and focused on Virgin. He overtook the former University of Illinois All-American with less than five miles to go, and Seko finished exactly one minute ahead of Virgin. New Zealander Allison Roe ran away from Patti Catalano with a course record time of 2:26:46. Catalano, the former Patti Lyons, finished second for the third straight year but set an American record of 2:27:51.

Men's Top Results

1. Toshihiko Seko (24, JPN) 2:09:26*
2. Craig Virgin (25, IL) 2:10:26
3. Bill Rodgers (33, MA) 2:10:34
4. John Lodwick (27, TX) 2:11:33
5. Malcolm East (25, PA) 2:11:35
6. Jukke Toivola (28, FIN) 2:11:52
7. Dennis Rinde (22, CA) 2:12:01
8. David Chettle (29, GBR) 2:12:23
9. Kyle Heffner (25, CO) 2:12:31
10. Victor Mora-Garcia (36, COL) 2:12:55

Women's Top Results

1. Allison Roe (24, NZL) 2:26:46*
2. Patti Lyons Catalano (30, MA) 2:27:51+
3. Joan Benoit (23, ME) 2:30:16
4. Julie Shea (23, NC) 2:30:54
5. Jacqueline Gareau (28, CAN) 2:31:26
6. Sissel Grottenberg (24, NOR) 2:33:02
7. Nancy Conz (23, MA) 2:34:48
8. Laura Dewald (23, VA) 2:35:57
9. Kiki Sweigart (29, CT) 2:36:55
10. Lorrie Dierdorff (23, CA) 2:38:03

 

86th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 19, 1982

One of the most memorable duels in the history of Boston was waged on a sun-scorched afternoon in 1982. Wayland resident Alberto Salazar and Minnesota dairy farmer Dick Beardsley fought one another over the nine-mile stretch from the Newton hills to the finish. Beardsley did the front-running with Salazar tucked in behind during their record pace. With less than one mile remaining, Salazar moved to the front. A sprint finish ensued, and Salazar emerged victorious in 2:08:52, with Beardsley just two seconds back (2:08:54), marking the first time two runners had broken 2:09:00 in the same race. West German Charlotte Teske easily won the women’s race by nearly seven minutes, ahead of Canada’s Jacqueline Gareau.

Men's Top Results

1. Alberto Salazar (23, MA) 2:08:52*
2. Dick Beardsley (24, MN) 2:08:54
3. John Lodwick (28, TX) 2:12:01
4. Bill Rodgers (34, MA) 2:12:38
5. Kjell-Erik Stahl (35, SWE) 2:12:46
6. Dennis Rinde (23, CA) 2:15:04
7. Terry Baker (26, MD) 2:16:32
8. Rick Callison (27, OH) 2:16:35
9. Robert Wallace (30, NE) 2:17:18
10. Ben Morturi (26, TX) 2:17:30

Women's Top Results

1. Charlotte Teske (32, GER) 2:29:33
2. Jacqueline Gareau (29, CAN) 2:36:09
3. Eileen G. Claugus (27, CA) 2:38:48
4. Kiki Sweigart (30, CT) 2:39:49
5. Shirley Kay Durtschi (30, OR) 2:40:47
6. Kathy Molitor (28, TX) 2:41:12
7. Julie Isphording (20, OH) 2:43:31
8. Zehava Shmoeli (27, ISR) 2:44:00
9. Shirley Finken (24, NJ) 2:44:09
10. Nancy Mieszczak (33, NY) 2:44:17

 

87th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 18, 1983

Michigan native Greg A. Meyer ran a tactically sound race to win in 2:09:00, the third-fastest time ever at Boston. Meyer followed Georgia’s Benji Durden and, after a brief surge in the Newton hills, ran the remaining miles alone. Ron Tabb of Oregon closed fast over the final miles to grab the runner-up spot. As great as Meyer’s race was, there was an even better one on this day. Joan Benoit shattered the women’s world-best with a stunning time of 2:22:43. Benoit set out at a mind-boggling 2:17 pace, attacking the course and every checkpoint record possible along the way with stern determination. Benoit finished more than two minutes faster than the old world mark.

Men's Top Results

1. Greg A. Meyer (27, MA) 2:09:00
2. Ron Tabb (28, OR) 2:09:31
3. Benji Durden (31, GA) 2:09:57
4. Edward Mendoza (30, AZ) 2:10:06
5. Chris Bunyan (24, IL) 2:10:54
6. David Edge (28, CAN) 2:11:03
7. Michael Layman (28, WA) 2:11:24
8. Dan Schlessinger (28, MA) 2:11:36
9. Jeff Wells (29, OR) 2:11:42
10. Bill Rodgers (35, MA) 2:11:58

Women's Top Results

1. Joan Benoit (25, MA) 2:22:43*#
2. Jacqueline Gareau (30, CAN) 2:29:27
3. Mary Shea (22, NC) 2:33:23
4. Karen E. Dunn (20, NH) 2:33:35
5. Sue King (24, AL) 2:33:52
6. Jane Wipf (25, UT) 2:37:18
7. Kare Cassaboon-Holm (27, NY) 2:37:40
8. Mindy Ireland (31, CA) 2:39:07
9. Maria Trujillo (23, AZ) 2:39:45
10. Kim Burns (23, AR) 2:42:10

 

88th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 16, 1984

England’s Geoff Smith used the Boston race as a qualifier for his selection to the British Olympic Marathon team. Most of the top Americans bypassed the race in favor of their own Olympic Trials Marathon and Smith ran alone to finish in 2:10:34. Smith’s performance earned him a spot on the British team, and the women’s winner, Lorraine Moller of New Zealand, also qualified for her Olympic team. Moller and countrywoman Allison Roe controlled most of the early front-running, but a sore hamstring forced Roe to drop out. Moller’s performance was the fifth-fastest at Boston.

Men's Top Results

1. Geoff Smith (30, GBR) 2:10:34
2. Gerry Vanesse (26, CT) 2:14:49
3. Domingo Tibaduiza (30, COL) 2:15:40
4. Juan Zetina (27, TX) 2:15:41
5. Keld Johansen (28, DEN) 2:16:36
6. Martti Kiiholma (34, CA) 2:16:56
7. David Olds (22, MI) 2:17:05
8. Jairo Correa (30, COL) 2:17:12 8
9. Paul Ballinger (28, NZL) 2:17:39
10. Donald Freedline (28, PA) 2:17:46

Women's Top Results

1. Lorraine Moller (28, NZL) 2:29:28
2. Midde Hamrin (26, TX) 2:33:53
3. Sissel Grottenberg (27, NOR) 2:36:07
4. Anne Hird (24, RI) 2:37:11
5. Tuija Tolvonen (25, FIN) 2:37:43
6. Gabriele Andersen (39, ID) 2:39:28
7. Lone Dybdal (25, DEN) 2:43:12
. Barbara Moore (30, NZL) 2:43:47
9. Sandra Mewett (34, BER) 2:44:07
10. Lena Holmann (32, PA) 2:45:33

 

89th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 15, 1985

Geoff Smith became the first champion to successfully defend his title since Bill Rodgers (1978–1980) as he scorched the first half of the race in 1:02:51. However, leg cramps at 19 miles forced him to a walk, and he finished in 2:14:05. Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach, the 1984 U.S. women’s Olympic Marathon alternate, ran uncontested to win Boston in her first attempt. This marked the final race to end at the Prudential Center Plaza. The finish was moved in 1986 to its current location near Copley Square Park.

Men's Top Results

1. Geoff Smith (31, GBR) 2:14:05
2. Gary Tuttle (37, CA) 2:19:11
3. Mark Helgeston (27, OH) 2:21:15
4. Lou Supino (30, CO) 2:21:29
5. Bobby Doyle (36, MA) 2:21:31
6. Toru Mimura (22, JPN) 2:23:35
7. Charles Hewes (29, NH) 2:23:35
8. Daniel Dillon (27, MA) 2:23:50
9. Christopher Fletcher (27, FL) 2:24:29
10. Norman Blair (27, NC) 2:25:23

Women's Top Results

1. Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach (23, MI) 2:34:06
2. Lynne Huntington (34, GBR) 2:42:15
3. Karen E. Dunn (22, NH) 2:42:27
4. Deborah L. Butterfield (33, BER) 2:43:47
5. Vickie C. Smith (29, TX) 2:46:33
6. Kathleen P. Northrop (34, NH) 2:46:43
7. Kimberly A. Moody (29, ME) 2:46:51
8. Mary P. Hynes (30, MA) 2:48:57
9. Elizabeth M. Bulman (25, MO) 2:50:16
10. Beth Dillinger (29, VA) 2:50:36

 

*Course Record
+American Record
#World Record

 

B.A.A. Moment 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.