Thirty Years Later, "Marathon Matriarch" Joan Benoit Samuelson '79 Still Breaking Records
Story posted April 17, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009, marks the 30th anniversary of Joan Benoit Samuelson's record-breaking win at the 1979 Boston Marathon.
She was a senior at the College when, wearing a Bowdoin singlet and a Red Sox cap, she crossed the finish line in what was then a women's course-record of 2:35:15.
Thirty years, a world record, an Olympic gold medal and countless races later, Samuelson is still out in front.
At the age of 51, she broke the American women's 50-plus 3000-meter record at the 2009 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships at Prince George's Sports and Learning Center in Landover, Md.
Benoit's event was on the opening day of the meet, which took place Friday-Sunday, March 20-22, 2009, attracting top masters athletes from across the country and around the world, including at least twelve Olympians and 58 reigning world champions.
Benoit Samuelson's time was 10:22.69, eclipsing the old record of 10:23.84 by Kathryn Martin of Northport, N.Y.
Benoit said she did it "to keep fit in my 50s and beyond, and because it's fun. It's a passion and a desire to stay fit. There is no finish line."
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