Joan Benoit Samuelson announced today that she is withdrawing from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon due to training setbacks as a result of an injury. She had originally entered the race to chase the 60-and-over marathon world record. Samuelson, 60, was targeting a sub-3-hour marathon. Bernardine Portenski of New Zealand set the current world record mark of 3:01:30 in 2010.
“October 8 has been on my calendar for some time, but I need to put my goals and my story on hold for now,” said Samuelson in a statement. “Chicago holds a special place in my career, and while I cannot compete this year, I am looking forward to cheering on thousands of runners as they chase their goals and tell their stories on race day.”
Samuelson is the 1984 Olympic Marathon champion. She won the Chicago Marathon in 1985. Despite withdrawing, she will still be in Chicago to celebrate the race’s 40th anniversary.
“Joan is a champion, and while we would love to celebrate a new record and career milestone with her, we are looking forward to having her here in Chicago to cheer on more than 40,000 runners,” said Carey Pinkowski, Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director.