Running At 60, Beach To Beacon Founder Still Sets The Pace

By Glenn Jordan
Portland Press Herald, Maine

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) There’s no slowing down for Joan Benoit Samuelson. This will mark the fourth time that Samuelson who won the inaugural Olympic women’s marathon in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, will run the race she founded in 1998.

CAPE ELIZABETH

Deena Kastor, who broke the U.S. women’s marathon record formerly held by Joan Benoit Samuelson, is facing a deadline for the manuscript of her memoir on the power of positive thinking.

She was in New York City with a book editor earlier this week, but Saturday morning she’ll be on a quiet stretch of Route 77 alongside Samuelson behind the start line of the 20th edition of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race.

“You can’t say no to Joan,” Kastor said with a laugh Friday inside Fort Williams, after a press conference introducing much of the elite field expected to lead a throng of 6,500 runners from near Crescent Beach to the Portland Head Light.

“She explained the people that she’s run with in the five-year increments and I felt so honored that she chose me this year. I really look forward to our time together (Saturday).”

This will mark the fourth time Samuelson, the Cape Elizabeth native who won the inaugural Olympic women’s marathon in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, will run the race she founded in 1998. In 2002, she ran with a group of New York City firefighters.

In 2007, she ran with 1980 Boston Marathon champion Jacqueline Gareau. In 2012, she ran with fellow marathon greats Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter.

Rodgers will be in the field again, but Kastor — who placed seventh in the 2013 Beach to Beacon at age 40 and set an American 10K masters record of 32 minutes, 28 seconds — will run with the 60-year-old Samuelson. The world record at 10K for a woman 60 or older is 38:56.

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