Samuelson To Run 2011 Boston Marathon®
champion Bill Rodgers to serve as Grand Marshal of
BOSTON ÛÓ The Boston Athletic Association
(B.A.A.) today announced that Olympic Gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon
champion Joan Samuelson will compete in the 115th running of the
Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18, 2011. The 53-year-old Maine native will run the
Boston Marathon for the first time since 1993. Samuelson will start among the Elite
Women at 9:32 a.m. ET and which will include approximately 67 of the race’s top
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.
“Joan is a running legend and
perhaps the greatest marathoner the United States has ever produced,”
said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk.
“Any time she races, she adds to her legacy. We are pleased that
spectators along the course, those watching on television, and those following
online will have an additional element of attraction.”
Samuelson has stated that she may
pursue at the Boston Marathon the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials ÛÓ Women’s Marathon qualifying time of 2:46:00.
“Boston is special race for me,” said
Samuelson. “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’
When she won in 1979, she 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
Also, the B.A.A. announced that
four-time champion Bill Rodgers ÛÓ another marathon legend ÛÓ will serve as the
grand marshal of the 2011 Boston Marathon.
He will ride in a Nissan pace car ahead of the lead runners, and the car
will be identified with his name and accomplishment. The B.A.A. has reserved the grand
marshal role as a position of recognition and honor. Spectators along the course
gather early along the 26.2 mile route to greet the grand marshal as the vehicle
makes its way from Hopkinton to Boston, heralding that thousands of running
will soon be coming. Rodgers won
the Boston Marathon in 1975 and in three consecutive years from 1978 through
1980. He last ran the Boston
Marathon in 2009, completing the course in 4:06:49 at age 61.
Samuelson and Rodgers are members of
the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program, part of John Hancock’s principal
sponsorship of the Boston Marathon which is now in its 26th
In addition, champions Ron Hill of Great Britain (1970), Alvaro
Mejia of Colombia (1971), Rob
de Castella of Australia
(1986), and Jean Driscoll of the USA (1990-96, 2000) are among others
who will be honored at the annual Champions’ Breakfast on Saturday, April 16 and
throughout the weekend.
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit
organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy
lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the
world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events
and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs.
Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston
Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The
Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon
Majors along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW
Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago
Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon.