Benoit Samuelson returns to the streets of New York to add a golden touch to the 40th five-borough classic on Sunday, November 1
NEW YORK - (August 5, 2009) - Twenty-five years to the day after Joan Benoit Samuelson's historic gold medal victory at the first women's Olympic Marathon, in Los Angeles in 1984, New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg announced today that the famed marathoner will run in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 1.
"Joanie was the all-American girl winning at home and it was a moment that is indelibly etched in our memories," said Wittenberg. "Now, 25 years later, Joanie is still running and creating new memories for all of us. Her participation in the 40th running of the ING New York City Marathon adds a golden glow to the festivities planned."
Benoit Samuelson, 52, of Freeport, ME, will be competing in her fifth New York City Marathon having finished the 2001 event in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 56 seconds - the second fastest time in the 40+ division that year. Benoit Samuelson also competed in 1988 (third, 2:32:40), 1991 (sixth, 2:33:48) and 1998 (first master at age 41, 2:41:06). A two-time Boston Marathon winner and a former marathon world record holder, Benoit Samuelson continues to compete; she plans to run the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race this weekend.
"Realizing that the 25th anniversary of my Olympic run coincides with the 40th edition of the ING New York City Marathon stirred my desire to run," said Benoit Samuelson. "This will be more than a jog down memory lane. This is the incentive I needed to get out there one more time."
In the 1984 Olympic Marathon, Benoit broke away from the pack early and maintained her lead, crossing the finish line in 2:24:52 - at the time, the third-fastest women's marathon ever - despite having had arthroscopic surgery on her knee 17 days before the Olympic Trials earlier that year. Nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz finished a minute and a half behind Benoit to take the silver medal.
Benoit Samuelson will be setting her sights on the New York City Marathon 50+ division record of 2:53:53, set by S. Rae Baymiller in 1993.
The ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and more than 300 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the nearly 788,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit: www.INGnycmarathon.org.