Marathon Pioneer Joan B Samuelson to Headline NC Marathon Events

Posted by Don Moore on February 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm under Amateur | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, NC – Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson will serve as featured guest for a number of events leading up to the second annual United Healthcare NC Marathon. The race comes to High Point, N.C., on Saturday, May 2, 2009.
NC Marathon 2009

A pioneer of women’s running, Samuelson set course records at the Boston and Chicago marathons in addition to her 1984 victory in the first-ever women’s Olympic Marathon. Her world record at Chicago, 2:21:21, stood for 17 years. And some 30 years since her first Boston victory, Samuelson is still at it, setting a record for women ages 50-54 in the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials, reaching her personal goal of beating 2:50 at age 50.

Samuelson will serve as keynote speaker at a pre- race pasta dinner on May 1 at Grandover Resort and host a VIP reception at the Natuzzi Americas Showroom in High Point, among other appearances.

“We are thrilled to bring an athlete of Joanie’s caliber to our event to inspire and motivate us all,” says NC Marathon Race Director Melissa Fourrier. “But we’re also honored and excited to work with someone who shares our interest in the welfare of children and in rolling up her sleeves to improve the quality of life for children in need.”

The United Healthcare NC Marathon benefits Foster Friends of NC, a nonprofit working to improve the lives of children experiencing foster care. Samuelson supports a number of nonprofits and initiatives dedicated to improving children’s fitness and quality of life. In 1997, she founded the Beach to Beacon 10k, a race that draws world-class runners to her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The event will celebrate its twelfth running in August as it continues to shine the light on kids by benefiting a different children’s charity each year.

Samuelson’s race-week appearances will include:

  • Pre-race pasta dinner, Grandover Resort, May 1, 6 p.m.
  • After her keynote address, Samuelson will stick around to autograph special-order NC Marathon running caps.

  • Run and lunch with Joan, Piedmont Environmental Center, May 1, noon.
  • Ten highest bidders will meet Samuelson at the Center, run a few miles on the greenway with her (weather permitting), then enjoy a gourmet, sustainable fare picnic lunch with her. Winning bidders who are also registered runners will enjoy VIP treatment on race day.

  • Cocktail reception, Natuzzi Americas Showroom, April 30, 6 p.m.
  • An exclusive evening set amid the sumptuous elegance of the Natuzzi showroom in downtown High Point. Italian wines and hors d’oeuvres, Red Oak beers, live music, photos with Joan. Tickets by invitation only.

More than 2,000 runners are expected to toe the line on May 2 in front of Showplace in downtown High Point for the marathon, half-marathon, and family 5K. For more information on registering for the United Healthcare NC Marathon, attending race-week events, or volunteering for the event, visit ncmarathon.org or call 336-834-9919.


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