Celebrating the 40th anniversary of her 1979 victory, Samuelson returns to race from Hopkinton to Boston
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that two-time Boston Marathon champion and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson will run this year’s Boston Marathon. The 2019 Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, April 15, Patriots’ Day and One Boston Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Samuelson will once again toe the line in Hopkinton, four decades after the then-21-year-old Bowdoin College student set a national and course record at the 83rd Boston Marathon. Crossing the finish line in 2:35:15 clad in her college uniform and a Red Sox cap, she captured the hearts of New Englanders en route to her memorable win.
“My goal is to to run within 40 minutes of my time 40 years ago, which would be sub-3:15:35,” said the Maine native. “I might as well celebrate during an anniversary year, while I’m still able!”
The 1979 win may have been her first Boston victory, but Samuelson’s leadership in distance running and the women’s running community extended far beyond that first finish line. In addition to her 1979 victory, Samuelson won the 1983 Boston Marathon in a then-world record of 2:22:43, a time that still ranks 13th on the all-time Boston list. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles one year later, Samuelson won the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon, tipping her white painter’s cap to the crowd as she secured the gold medal in 2:24:52.
“We are delighted to have Joan Benoit Samuelson return to the roads leading to Boston in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her 1979 win,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Chief Executive Officer. “Joanie’s impact on American running, the Boston Marathon, and women’s running in general has been instrumental, and has inspired thousands of Boston Marathoners. We look forward to her crossing the finish line again on April 15.”
Samuelson’s last Boston Marathon came in 2015, when she finished in 2:54:03. Samuelson won the Veterans (50-59) division at the 2011, 2013, and 2014 Boston Marathons, setting a Veteran’s record of 2:50:29 in 2013.
Samuelson will join 16 other Boston Marathon champions returning to run this year’s race (10 open division champions including Samuelson, and seven wheelchair division winners). Included among the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team are defending champions Desiree Linden and Yuki Kawauchi, while Tatyana McFadden and Marcel Hug return to front the wheelchair division.