Joan Benoit Samuelson was the 1979 Boston Marathon champion and is coming back to run the 2019 event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her first win. 

Meb Keflezighi and Joan Benoit Samuelson - Beach to Beacon 10K
Meb Keflezighi and Joan Benoit Samuelson at the 2014 Beach to Beacon 10K

Four decades ago, Benoit Samuelson won the marathon as a 21-year-old Bowdoin College student. Her time that year set a national and course record of 2:35:15. She went on to become a marathon world record holder and win the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. She told the Boston Athletics Association that her goal for April 15 is to run within 40 minutes of her time 40 years ago. 

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The 2019 elite line up is very competitive with five sub-2:20 women in the race, and five sub-2:05 men. In the women’s race, in addition to 2018 champ Des LindenSally Kipyego is one to watch. Boston 2019 will be her first race as an American citizen. The runner has a personal best of 2:28:01 and a Olympic silver medal in the 10,000m to her name. She formerly represented Kenya. Canadian Krista DuChene is also returning to Boston following her huge 2018 third place performance. 

Photo: Boston marathon (Facebook)

On the men’s side, 2018 champion Yuki Kawauchi is returning alongside Americans Scott Fauble who was 7th at the 2018 New York City Marathon in a personal best of 2:12:28, Shadrack Biwott was third at the 2018 Boston Marathon, Dathan Ritzenhein is the fourth fastest American marathoner of all-time, and Jared Ward is a 2016 Olympian and the 2015 national marathon champion. 

Other notable members of the men’s elite fields are Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya. 

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