BOSTON (CBS) – With the 117th Boston Marathon less than a month away, the field of runners is starting to take shape.
This year’s field will include several former champions, the Boston Athletic Association announced on Friday.
Among those former champs will be inaugural Olympic gold medalist Joan Samuelson. The 55-year-old Samuelson won Boston in 1979 and 1983 before going on to win the Olympic games Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. April’s race will mark the 30th anniversary of her 1983 win.
Also returning to run this year’s Boston Marathon are Greg Meyer, who won the race in 1983, and Amby Burfoot, who won in 1968. Meyer and Burfoot will wear bibs 1983 and 1968, respectively.
“We are honored by the presence of our past champions, and we welcome them back to Boston with great pride,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “Winning the Boston Marathon is a career milestone that all of our champions cherish for a lifetime. They are also extremely engaging individuals who liven up any celebration that they attend, and we look forward to celebrating their achievement and showcasing them at our events throughout Boston Marathon weekend. It will be fun to have them here.”
The B.A.A. will honor Samuelson, Meyer, and Burfoot in recognition of the anniversaries of their Boston Marathon victories at its annual Champions’ Breakfast on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
Jacqueline Hansen will also be recognized at the event as she marks the 40th anniversary of her 1973 victory, when she defeated defending champion Nina Kuscsik to become the women’s champion only one year after women were first officially allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon. Hansen will also serve as the honorary, official starter for the elite women’s field this Patriots’ Day.
Additionally, Boston champions Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb and Sara Mae Berman will serve as the grand marshals and ride in the pace car ahead of the lead runners, heralding to spectators along the course that thousands of runners will soon be coming.
Gibb became the first woman to run and successfully complete the Boston Marathon in 1966, six years prior to the official acceptance of female participation in the event, and won in 1967 and 1968. Berman won from 1969 through 1971 and placed fifth in 1972, the first year of official participation for women in the Boston Marathon.
Tune in to WBZ-TV for complete coverage of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.