Benoit Samuelson and Rodgers Return To Boston

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers return to Boston to race later this month. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers return to Boston to race later this month. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The two Boston legends will race an inaugural 10K later this month.

From: Running USA

BOSTON – (June 8, 2011) – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced that Olympic gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, and four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers will compete in the inaugural B.A.A. 10K on Sunday, June 26.

Benoit Samuelson recently ran the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes, 29 seconds, winning the 50-54 age group division. Rodgers served as the grand marshal of the Patriots’ Day race, and ran the race in 2009.

“Joan and Bill are fixtures of running in New England, and especially within the history of the B.A.A. and our events,” said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk. “It’s only fitting that we have these legends help us commence our newest race in Boston, the B.A.A. 10K. They are giants in our sport and it’s a great pleasure to have them in our event.”

Runner registration for the B.A.A. 10K remains open at www.baa.org.

With her 1983 Boston Marathon performance, the 25-year-old Benoit (later Samuelson) established a world best with a time of 2:22:43. In the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, she won Olympic gold with a time of 2:24:52. The Maine native remains one of just four Boston Marathon champions to have also won gold in the Olympic Marathon.

Bill Rodgers’ success in Boston began in 1975 when he won his first Boston Marathon with a then-U.S. best of 2:09:55. He won again in 1978 with a time of 2:10:13, and at the 1979 Boston Marathon improved his previous U.S. best with a 2:09:27. It was the fastest of his four Boston victories, and the fourth-fastest marathon time ever recorded at the time. He won his fourth Boston in 1980 with a time of 2:12:11.

Benoit Samuelson’s American course record at Boston stood until this past April when Desiree Davila finished second with a time of 2:22:38 to Caroline Kilel of Kenya with a time of 2:22:36. Kilel is also entered into the inaugural event on June 26. A full list of elite athletes will be released later this month.

The B.A.A. 10K includes a prize purse of $30,000 with $5000 awarded to the winners and equally distributed among the top male and female finishers.

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