On Saturday January 9, 2016 our Road Warrior group split up due to conflicting events. Some of us went the RunGR kickoff event and the others went to the Gazelle Girl kickoff which also had the pleasure of Olympic Marathon Runner Joan Benoit-Samuelson gracing us with her phenomenal running presence.
Now, let me shout out and say I am proud of my girls, my fellow Road Warriors Sarah and Lisa for pacing the RunGR people at 11:30 (see picture below). You chicas are rawsome and a definite inspiration for me! The rest of the Road Warrior group that made their presence at the RunGR event made it great, too, I am sure! I joined the Gazelle group. And even though we all had the chance to run with Joan Benoit-Samuelson, her pace is beyond my capabilities (I think even in a walking pace 🙂 ). However, listening to her talk and do a Q&A after the run was all I needed.
Joan Benoit-Samuelson won a gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. This was the first year that the women’s marathon was introduced as an Olympic event. Due to this, she was cemented as the first ever women’s Olympic marathon champion. In 1986 she established the 25K American and course record of 1:24:43 for the then named Old Kent River Bank Run. A record she held until 2012.
So imagine my excitement to hear this amazing woman speak. Here is me, new to running, not thinking much of it more than what it does for me. Here is this woman who has helped paved the way for female runners everywhere. Her words were surprisingly “everyday”. Simple and true. Her favorite indulgence? Dark chocolate. Any mantras or thoughts that keep or get her going? Just run. She talked about how, if she had started in sports just a year or two earlier, she would have played soccer. She talked about running in Maine, and how, when training, one should, “train where they are comfortable. Where they know”.
The inspiration was immense and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from such an amazing woman. I learned that running in and of itself does not take much except getting up and getting out. They can be hard steps to take o matter where one is in their running journey, but just a few steps to start. She stated that one saying that she does always tell herself is, “Last shall come first. First shall come last”. Smart words. Words I shall remember.
Keep Running. Much Love.