Joan Benoit Samuelson, 53, Impressive In Boston Marathon Return

BOSTON (CBS) – Two-time champion Joan Benoit Samuelson ran her first Boston Marathon since 1993 on Monday, finishing with a time of 2:51:29.

“I did it on a wing and a prayer, wasted a lot of energy in the last couple of days wondering if I was gonna get to the starting line, and I decided with the forecast and the tail wind, that I’d regret not at least trying. I’ve never dropped out of a race, that was on my mind,” said Samuelson.

The 53-year-old Maine native managed to break the three-hour mark, which was a goal of hers going into the race.

WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton spoke to Samuelson at the finish line:

“As of Friday, all I was hoping to do was finish, and I wanted to break three hours. It would have been really nice to break 2:50, but I’m really happy to have finished here 18 years later,” said Samuelson. “I got up over the hill, and then got down into Cleveland Circle, and from that point on, I just said ‘please keep it under three hours.'”

See: Complete Marathon Coverage

Samuelson was running with her daughter, Abby, who was running in her first Boston Marathon. Abby finished at 3:30:36.

“It was hard, trying to get my bearings the first 10k, and then I started to feel that I had nothing left in the end,” said Samuelson.

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.

“Boston is special race for me,” Samuelson said before the race. “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.”

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.

  • Edward P Gilmartin

    pretty sure this is her daughters second time crossing the finish line in Boston…the first time she was a fetus.

  • Joan Benoit Samuelson does not disappoint in marathon at age 53 | B Penny

    […] On Sunday, Samuelson finished 44th in a time of 2:51:29. Since announcing her intent to run, about a week before the race, Samuelson was subjected to media expectations of running the qualifying time for Olympic Trials – 2:46. While that did not come to fruition, none of it mattered for Samuelson, who far surpassed her personal goals of finishing and breaking three hours. […]

  • John

    I remember watching the 1983 Boston Marathon and seeing her pass by and wondering…where was everyone else. Amazing performance.

  • The whole 26.21876 miles « Training up for Boston 2011

    […] represent the faster end of the 50-54 age group, and she did it in style, finishing second behind Joan Benoit Samuelson. We chatted almost the whole way about running, horses, living in the Eugene area, and what the day […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live