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Joan Benoit Samuelson To Run Boston Marathon

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Former Olympic champion US Joan Benoit Samuelson (R) and Romanian runner Constantina Dita raise a torch during a lighting ceremony of the Marathon flame in the town of Marathon northeast of Athens on October 30, 2010.

Former Olympic champion US Joan Benoit Samuelson (R) and Romanian runner Constantina Dita raise a torch during a lighting ceremony of the Marathon flame in the town of Marathon northeast of Athens on October 30, 2010.

BOSTON (CBS) – Two time champion Joan Benoit Samuelson will run her first Boston Marathon since 1993, the Boston Athletic Association announced Monday.

The 53-year-old Maine native will start among the Elite Women at 9:32 a.m. which includes approximately 67 of the race’s top female marathoners.

“Boston is special race for me,” said Samuelson. “The crowds know and appreciate the athletes competing and their accomplishments, and they never disappoint with their encouragement and enthusiasm. I look forward to experiencing their energy and excitement on Patriots’ Day.”

Read: The Best Spots To Watch The Boston Marathon

Samuelson won the 1979 Boston Marathon in an American Record time of 2:35:15, and she established a world record at the 1983 Boston Marathon in 2:22:43. Her performance from 1983 remains the fourth fastest time in Boston Marathon history.

Samuelson has stated that she may pursue at the Boston Marathon the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Women’s Marathon qualifying time of 2:46:00.

Photo Gallery: The American Elites

When she won in 1979, Samuelson was 21-year-old student Joan Benoit from Bowdoin College. She went on to win the inaugural gold medal in the women’s Olympic Marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Over time and following her Olympic victory, she became an icon of the sport and one of its most recognizable names.

Samuelson is one of only four Boston Marathon champions to have also won gold in the Olympic Marathon. Gelindo Bordin, of Italy; Rosa Mota, of Portugal; and Fatuma Roba, of Ethiopia, are the others.

WBZ-TV is the only local station with live wire-to-wire coverage of the 115th Boston Marathon starting at 8 a.m. on Monday April 18th.

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