“Running For Women”

Running For women is a book written by Joan Benoit Samuelson.  I had the chance to met Joan Benoit Samuelson in 1995 at the National 5k Championships.   I won the Mid-Atlantic Region 5k Championships which qualified me to represent the Mid-Atlantic Region at the Friehofer’s National 5k Championships in Albany New York.  The night before the race Joan spoke to a crowd about her running career and her newly published book “Running For women”. Joan spoke about running being her life before getting married and having children.  She spoke about topics that are of concern for women and was very informative while she spoke giving lots of personal stories.

Joans Olympic Gold

Joan was born in Cape Elizabeth Maine in 1957.  She  took to long-distance running to help recover from a broken leg suffered while skiing.  She ran for Bowdoin College.  In 1979  she entered the Boston Marathon as an unknown runner wearing a Boston Red Sox cap and won in 2:35:15, knocking eight minutes off the competition record. She repeated that success with a victory again in 1983 that took more than two minutes off the world’s best time set by Grete Waitz in the London Marathon the day before.  Joan Benoit had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on April 25 five days later she was running but overcompensated and injured her left hamstring.  One week before the trails she couldn’t run.  May 12 she won the first woman’s Olympic Marathon trails.  Three months later she won the Gold in the first Woman’s Olympic Marathon.

The book is a good resource for women runners of any level from the novice to the elite.  The book is divided into three major parts: Running Advice For Women, Running Faster and Stronger, and The winning Edge.  Part one covers topics such as PMS, menopause, pregnancy, and running at any age.  Part two covers training, racing, injuries, stretching and cross training.  Part three covers eating, dress, setting goals and staying  motivated. Some running books get into the physiology of running and training but not Joan.  She explains things so the average runner can apply what they read.  I enjoyed reading the book the only regrets I had is that I forgot to take the book to the race so she could sign it for me.

Joan Benoit continues to run and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  In 2008 at the Olympic Marathon Trails at the age of 50, she finished in 2:49:08, setting a new US 50 plus age record.  November 1, 2009, she broke the 50+ division record with a final time of 2:49:09.


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