Joan Benoit Samuelson is 61 years old and she's still running. The 1985 Olympic gold medalist will return to the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., 40 years after her first victory at the event for the 2019 edition of the race on April 15, organizers announced on Friday afternoon.
Samuelson was 21 years old when she won the race in 1979 wearing her Bowdoin College singlet and a Boston Red Sox hat. It was the first of her two Boston Marathon victories. She claimed a second title in a then-world record time of 2:22:43 in 1983.
“My goal is to run within 40 minutes of my time 40 years ago, which would be sub-3:15:35,” Samuelson said in a statement. “I might as well celebrate during an anniversary year, while I’m still able!”
Samuelson last ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 and ran 2:54:03. As noted on Twitter by track and field writer Jesse Squire, Samuelson has run under three hours for the marathon over five decades. The feat has only been accomplished by 40 men and one woman.