Congratulations to FOF Joan Benoit Samuelson for running the Chicago Marathon yesterday in 2:47:50, twenty-five years after she set the American record there (2:21:21). The 53-year-old runner won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A., when the women’s marathon was introduced.
Joan, who has been running her entire adult life, wants to promote the sport as a platform to really get our nation up and moving,” I read in The Quad-City Times. “It’s so affordable and accessible,” she said. “Running is a sport for life. You don’t have to run marathons to be a runner. Why not at least get out and try?”
Joan beat her 22-year-old daughter, Abby, in yesterday’s race and her 52-year-old husband, Scott. She set a new American record for women aged 50 to 54.
I get tired just thinking about running 26.2 miles, but I have great admiration for a FOF with the stamina, fortitude and competitiveness to accomplish this impressive feat. Like many of us, Joan is continually setting goals for herself, according to everything I’ve read about her. Besides her passion for running, she kayaks, cycles and gardens.
“When it’s no longer fun I’ll get out. Some days I say, ‘What am I doing out here?’ But other days, it feels like it did 25 years ago. If I catch the right day, I feel amazing and strong and powerful and good. You take the ups and downs,” she said for an article in The New York Times.