Proving that fast and competitive running is not just a sport for the young, 52-year-old Joan Benoit Samuelson battled heavy winds to win the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon in a time of 1:21:57.
"I am so happy to win here and redeem myself from my last visit here to Oklahoma City in 2007. When I competed here two years ago, I had a severe plantar fasciitis problem that day, which I worsened by staying on the course and finishing the race." Samuelson said.
"I never DNF'ed (did not finish) a race in my career, and I wasn't going to quit in OKC back then because of the cause for running the race.
So, the victory today was nice for me personally, but more so, I am hopefully furthering the event's inspiring message of resilience and hope. The 2010 half-marathon with hopefully have a better weather day for breaking the US record."
Samuelson has her sites set on breaking the current U.S. masters record of 1:19:4.
OKC Memorial Marathon Executive Director Chet Collier said, "Having Joanie come in and win here is such a wonderful thing for our event, she has been driving the sport of women's running forever and continues to set the standard for what our sport should be." Collier continues, "We hope she'll come back next year and defend her title."