August 5, 2004 |
If you were a commentator and the topic was women's athletics, you couldn't go wrong on this day. First, Joan Benoit -- now Joan Benoit Samuelson -- thrilled those who had welcomed the inclusion of a women's marathon in the Olympics, despite critics who'd said women weren't physically strong enough. For Benoit, the New Englander recovering from recent knee surgery, this women's marathon was a breeze.
July 28, 2004 |
For more than two hours, she ran alone, the way she liked it, the way she did during her solitary training runs at home in Freeport, Maine. The Marina Freeway became her personal diamond lane for a lonely three miles, the pack far behind her and no spectators permitted along that stretch of the course. The giant mural bearing her likeness joined her for a few moments, placed there by her shoe-company sponsor, providing silent inspiration.
September 7, 1988 |
Joan Benoit's first passage through the Los Angeles Coliseum tunnel did not come on the morning she carried the United States to triumph in the first-ever women's Olympic marathon. It actually came one week earlier--a journey less rigorous than the 26.2-mile footrace known as a marathon--but one that, in her mind, foreshadowed the victory to follow.
April 10, 1988 |
When Joan Benoit won the women's Olympic marathon trial in 1984, only 17 days after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery--and later went on to take the gold in Los Angeles in the inaugural Olympic women's marathon--it was labeled a miracle. This year, with the women's Olympic marathon trial in Pittsburgh just four weeks away, Benoit--now Joan Samuelson--says she apparently may have run out of miracles.
October 20, 1985 |
The wind whips off Lake Michigan, roars down the streets lined with skyscrapers and uncollected rubbish, and knifes its way to the bone of chilly Chicagoans. It is raining and unexpectedly cold on the eve of America's Marathon. The weather, to a certain extent, mirrors the feelings between two of the favorites in the women's race: Cold.