‘Greek for a Day’: Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 Runs the Original Marathon (Runner’s World)

Joan Benoit Samuelson '79 pictured running in the 2009 New York City Marathon.

Olympic gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon winner Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 has run countless marathons during her storied career, but this fall finished the original one.

Joanie, as she’s known to friends, participated in the 2010 Athens Classic Marathon, which commemorated the 2500th anniversary of Phiedippides’ 25-mile run from the battle field of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of an invading Persian force.

After running the whole distance in 490 B.C., Phiedippides collapsed and died from exhaustion. Benoit Samuelson did not, instead finishing in what she describes as a leisurely 3:03.

It was the first time I ran a marathon for fun and not for competition,” she tells Runner’s World. “Although it was the slowest one of my career, it was one of the most memorable.”

4 thoughts on “‘Greek for a Day’: Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 Runs the Original Marathon (Runner’s World)

  1. Marilyn Dunham

    Hi Joanie,
    We are leaving for Bulgaria by way of Athens next week and then going back there for two days before we go up the Adriatic on a ship. Wish we had seen this earlier for I would have had you over to help us know where to go in only a day and a half!

  2. charlotte mccarthy

    Hi Joanie – I am a fellow marathoner as well as the mother of a Bowdoin student Phoebe McCarthy who I believe is in your son’s class. I have a small business designing gifts for marathoner runners with a percentage of my sales going to a charity called Back On My Feet which raises money for homeless people through running programs.
    I would love to talk to you about this organization and would also
    very much like to give you some of my products. I actually tried calling you last fall and left a message but not sure it went through.
    In any event, I hope you can email or call me back at 443-324-2234.
    all the best
    Charlotte

  3. Janet LePage Beecher

    Great to see you continue to pursue your dreams and enjoy your life.
    Happy to know you and so proud for you!
    You continue to inspire.. just by being you.
    You are a very special Maine woman!

    “Just keep running”

    Janet

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