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.”