Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dream girls' day out! Deena and Joan to run this year's Chicago Marathon

It's not secret that I am a fan of Deena Kastor, who, when I was first starting out, I frequently referred to as "the sweetheart of American marathoning". No, really. One year I even made one of her recipes to take to Thanksgiving Dinner. She's one of my all-time favorite runners. I was thrilled when she set the world masters half marathon record at this year's Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia, finishing in 1:09:36. I mean, look how badass this woman is: photo from

Another favorite of mine is Joan Benoit Samuelson. I love this picture of the final yards of the 1984 Olympic Marathon -- the first one women were allowed to race in. She has run into the stadium in Los Angeles, the crowd are on their feet, and she looks SO STRONG:

photo from
Sure, I now have other favorites, but these ladies were my first. And they are BOTH going to race in the Chicago Marathon on October 11 this year. Deena is attempting to set a new world masters marathon record (time to beat: 2:28:40, a record set by Colleen De Reuck at the 2005 Chicago Marathon). Meanwhile, Joan is hoping to run within 30 minutes of her 1985 Chicago Marathon time, which she won in 2:21:21. Which, of course, was the American record until Deena ran sub-2:20.

I've never been a spectator at a marathon -- but this one would be a good one to see in person. (Except that I'll be running my own half marathons that weekend…) And I'll be cheering them both on and trying to take inspiration from them as I struggle through my own race.

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