Posted by: Sue D. Gelber | April 15, 2016

Inspiration Friday: Marathon Edition

Well, well, well. Another Boston Marathon is on the horizon. And as usual, I’m devastated that I’m not there to see it. The snow-capped Rockies are lovely, but there’s nothing more majestic than the view of that finish line on Boylston Street.

I spent much of my life in the Hub of the Universe, and as a result, the Boston Marathon is woven deep into my soul. Even before I became a runner, I was fascinated with the event, thanks in no small part to Joan Benoit, a gal from Maine sporting a Red Sox cap who won Boston – and set a course record – the first time she ran it. She then set a new world record at Boston a few years later. She was the stuff of local legend.

For me, Joan Benoit Samuelson became more closely associated with the marathon thanks to her years of providing commentary during the race day broadcasts. She had intelligent insight, but more importantly, she seemed like a nice person. During my first years living in Chicago, homesick and glued to whatever random cable channel was carrying the WBZ broadcast, she was my tether. At the time, I didn’t know anyone in Chicago who cared about the Boston Marathon, but it was ok because I had Joan. I’d bet we’d be friends, Joanie and I. We’d hang out, go for a run (she’d have to wait for me to catch up, but she wouldn’t mind), then grab a cup of coffee afterwards. Joanie and I would have lots to chat about. I could call her Joanie, right?

Fortunately, Joan Benoit Samuelson is known for much more than being my imaginary friend. In fact, she is probably best known not for her stunning Boston performances, but from the ’84 Olympics.

It’s a story you’ve heard before: a small town gal finds fame and fortune on the streets of LA. It’s a story that’s been told a million times. But not like this:

I hope everyone has a happy Marathon Monday. And if you need a runner to support, cheer on my good friend (and former running partner!) Patti Quigley, who’s conquering her first marathon as a fundraiser for Razia’s Ray of Hope. You can read about her here: Razia’s Ray of Hope. Go, Patti, go!




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