NUMBER 6: Joan Benoit Samuelson


Joan entered the Boston Marathon in 1979 at the age of 21 and won in 2:35:15. She came in 3rd in the Boston Marathon in 1981, but she won big in 1983 by running 2:22:43 (nearly four minutes faster than the winning time in 2013). She also won the Chicago Marathon in 1985 by running 2:21:21, which served as the American record for 18 years.

She is probably best remembered for winning the first Women’s Olympic Marathon (seen above). She ran 2:24:52 in Los Angeles and finished in front of legends Grete Waitz, Rosa Mota and Ingrid Kristiansen.

Joan has continued to run competitively and even tried to qualify for an eighth Olympic Trials, although she fell just short. In October 2010, at the age of 53, she ran 2:47:50.

Check out her website at:

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One Response to NUMBER 6: Joan Benoit Samuelson

  1. Robin says: makes me cry kinda every single time. joanie ❤

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