Sunday, April 20, 2008

2008 US Women's Olympic Marathon Trials

Well the United States was able to show just how deep Women's Distance running is becoming by putting together a flat course under perfect conditions in Boston. I would love to have been in Boston for today's trials and for tomorrow's Boston Marathon. The City is surely the place to be this weekend.

A total of 171 women broke the 3 hour mark- yes that is correct 171! REMARKABLE! Deena Kastor(cancer survivor)won the trials in 2:29:35. Susan Loken (age 44) ran 2:42:55 to place 40th, and Joan Samuelson (age 50) ran 2:49:08 to place 90th.

Full results can be found at

About Samuelson:

Joan Samuelson will forever be remembered for her dominating performance in the inaugural Olympic women's marathon in 1984 when she beat a field that included other marathon legends such as Grete Waitz, Rosa Mota, Ingrid Kristiansen and Lisa Martin. Remarkably Samuelson had qualified at the US Olympic Marathon Trials just two and a half weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery, winning the race where she had to place in the top three to earn an Olympic berth.

She was considered one of the '84 Olympic favorites off her sensational 2:22:43 at the 1983 Boston Marathon. Blitzing the first half in 1:08:23, Samuelson went on to run nearly three minutes faster than any other woman had ever run at the time.

Samuelson began her marathon career rather inauspiciously with a 2:51 second place in Bermuda in January 1979 but then set an American best three months later at Boston (2:35:15). She added two American records at the '80 Choysa Marathon and '82 Nike OTC Marathon.

She only won one more marathon after the '84 Olympics but it was another stellar performance. Although Kristiansen had become the new world record holder by the 1985 America's Marathon Chicago, Samuelson prevailed in a dramatic showdown there to win in 2:21:21, the second fastest time in history and an American record that lasted until 2003.

Sameulson's Personal Bests:
10K: 31:37 (1983)
Half Marathon: 1:08:34 (1984)
Marathon: 2:21:21 (1985)

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