News Archive 2009-2018

‘Running Buddies’ Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 and Ambassador Elkanah Odembo ’80 (Boston Herald) Archives

Joan Benoit Samuelson '79 at the 2011 Boston Marathon. Photo by Brian Wedge '97


Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S. and 2010 Common Good Award winner Elkanah Odembo ’80, in Boston to spend time with 16 of his country’s elite runners ahead of the 2012 Boston Marathon to be held Monday, speaks with the Boston Herald about his time at Bowdoin with another runner, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon winner Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79.

“She was always very outgoing,” Odembo says in the article. “I met Joan in my first month and, if you can imagine this African kid at Bowdoin College, there were not too many of us there. She just came up to me one day and said, “˜I bet you run.’ I was a runner and we’ve been friends since then.”

Odembo recalls being part of Joanie’s long journey to her first Boston Marathon win. “We were just there to accompany her up until mile marker 20,” Odembo said, “and then we said, “˜Joannie, you go from here.’

“Here was a group of us from Bowdoin College, and we used to run with her. We were part of her support team, a large Bowdoin contingent and it was tremendous.” Read the article.