FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Running Legends Joan Benoit Samuelson and Steve Jones Celebrate 25th
Anniversary of Historic Victories with Return to Chicago
CHICAGO -The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that
running legends Joan Benoit Samuelson and Steve Jones will compete in
Chicago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their historic victories. The
1985 Chicago Marathon still ranks among the most memorable in the event's
33-year history. Both athletes nearly set world records on the same day,
and registered performances that put the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
on the fast track to becoming one of the premier running events in the
"The sport of marathon running does not have bigger legends than Joan
Benoit Samuelson and Steve Jones," said Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "These two athletes set the bar
for world class performances at the Chicago Marathon 25 years ago, and they
ushered the sport of distance running into a new era. We're proud that they
are returning to Chicago to add another exciting storyline to this year's
When American Joan Benoit Samuelson crossed the finish line of the 1984
Olympic Games Marathon in Los Angeles, she became the event's first-ever
female gold medalist, and as a result, a national hero. Benoit Samuelson
brought her hero status to Chicago in 1985 to face one of the deepest
women's fields ever assembled, including world record holder Ingrid
Kristiansen of Norway and Olympic bronze medalist and defending Chicago
Marathon champion Rosa Mota of Portugal. Benoit Samuelson won in 2:21:21 to
establish a new course and American record, while missing the world record
by just 13 seconds. Benoit Samuelson's American record stood until 2003.
"It's a true gift to return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon after
posting my fastest time ever in the same marathon 25 years ago," said
Benoit Samuelson. "I never thought that I would still be competing 25 years
later and challenging myself with new goals. After the Olympic Trials in
Boston in 2008, I said that I was finished with competitive marathon
running, but the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10 is too great
of an opportunity to pass up. My goal is to run as fast as I can for as
long as I can and to challenge my best time over the age of 50."
Benoit Samuelson's time of 2:49:08 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon
made her the first America woman over the age of 50 to run sub 2:50. Last
fall, she ran 2:49:09 at the New York City Marathon. If Benoit Samuelson
manages to run under the 2:46:00 U.S. Olympic Trials standard, she would
qualify to compete in a record fifth U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. She has
previously competed in the 1984, 1996, 2000 and 2008 Trials races.
Welshman Steve Jones put the Chicago Marathon in the distance running
spotlight in 1984 when he won the eighth annual event in a world record
time of 2:08:05. Jones' performance gave instant fame and notoriety to the
Bank of America Chicago Marathon for its flat and fast course. He returned
to Chicago in 1985 to defend his title and reclaim the world record which
had been broken by Portugal's Carlos Lopes. On a cool and rainy day, Jones
ran solo virtually from the gun, passing the halfway point in 1:01:40
(unofficially). He missed the world record by one second; however, his
winning time of 2:07:13 set a course record and remains the British
marathon record. Jones' aggressive running style won him many fans in
Chicago, and his attempt to shatter the world record in 1985 is one of the
most revered efforts in all of marathon running.
"This event was the site of my greatest athletic performances and I always
look forward to returning," said Jones. "I'm proud to be part of the
tradition of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to have witnessed how
the event has grown since I last won here 25 years ago. This time I'll
enjoy the run without the pressure of a word record to reclaim."
Jones will be accompanied in Chicago by 12 athletes that he coaches in his
hometown of Boulder, Colorado. His athletes are Olympic Trials hopefuls who
will be running for personal bests on October 10.
25 Years Later
·Twenty-five years after Joan Benoit Samuelson and Steve Jones set duel
course and national records in Chicago, the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon has grown from less than 9,000 registered runners in 1985, to
45,000 in 2010. The 2010 event reached its capacity in a record 51 days.
·The course, which was run primarily on Lake Shore Drive in 1985, now runs
through 29 different Chicago neighborhoods, and spans the North, West and
South Sides of the city, starting and finishing in historic Grant Park.
·Jones' and Benoit Samuelson's 1985 course records have since been broken.
The new records now stand at 2:05:41 for men (Sammy Wanjiru, 2009) and
2:17:18 for women (Paula Radcliffe, 2002).
·Jones' British record of 2:07:13 still stands to this day, while Benoit
Samuelson's American record was broken in 2003 by Deena Kastor (2:19:36).
·Jones lives in Boulder, Colorado where he coaches a team of elite athletes
called the Boulder Express. Benoit Samuelson lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
and is the founder and chair of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K which
attracts more than 6,000 runners including a world class elite field.
Benoit Samuelson and Jones will be recognized for the 25th anniversary of
their historic victories at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Both
runners will join 45,000 others for the 33rd running of the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 10 at 7:30 a.m.
About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 33rd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 participants, including a
world class elite field and a world class elite wheelchair field, and 1.7
million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, the
iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable
causes while generating a $150 million economic impact to its host city
according to a report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's
Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (R.E.A.L.). The 2010 Bank of
America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago's Grant Park
beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 10. In advance of the race, a
two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention
Center on Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9. More information on
the race and how to get involved is available at the event Web site,