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Marathon Talk Episode 44: Joan Benoit Samuelson - The First Ever Women’s Olympic Champion

When LA saw the first ever Olympic women’s marathon champion, it was none other than this week’s Marathon Talk guest who crossed the line first - Joan Benoit Samuelson.

An icon in the sport and Deena’s greatest mentor, she joins us on the podcast this week to share her remarkable relationship with the sport, and the power of storytelling within it.

Joan, as an ambassador for our title sponsor Abbott, has also completed her own Six Star journey this year when she earned her medal at the Tokyo Marathon.


Elsewhere in the show, the Diamond League gives us record-breaking runs and a tantalizing preview of what we can expect this summer in Paris, while Training Talk is all about rediscovering your speed this summer!

Listen on

  1. Apple
  2. Spotify
  3. Amazon

In this episode of Marathon Talk

  • 0:00 - Martin & Deena return to share their holiday weekend escapades, riding adventures, and how Martin is ‘irritating George Clooney’
  • 5:15 - In the news this week, we recap the Diamond League’s biggest stories, from the new Women’s 10,000m record to the Kerr vs Ingebrigtsen tussle, and how it all points towards an unmissable Paris 2024
  • 20:45 - Training Talk is timely as ever this week, with a look over how to redefine your legs over the summer break, and refinding your pace as a way to prepare for the marathon season ahead
  • 27:35 - The indomitable Joan Benoit Samuelson is our very special guest as we chat to her about the camaraderie en route to becoming 1984’s Olympic Champion, Joan’s love for storytelling in the sport, and her journey to achieving her 6th Star - plus so much more!

Episode highlights

“Last weekend, the Diamond League was pointing to some epic performances to look forward to in Paris 2024. The Olympics are almost here and if this style of racing has any clues as to what we're in store for, it is going to be a games to remember.” - 5:15 - Deena Kastor 

“It's a strain and a struggle so much of the time, but we get these days where we feel like we can run forever, these days where it feels so comfortable and the sport seems so kind to us.” - 14:30 - Deena Kastor

“If you're in the UK and it's summertime, with summer comes (hopefully at some point) a little bit of warmth. Therefore, I love to do speed work at this time of year.” - 22:10 - Martin Yelling 

“I referred to my competitors in Olympia as my teammates because we really had to be a team to push our sport forward.” - 31:00 - Joan Benoit Samuelson

“I just think the Abbott 6 Stars are a great challenge for people, and it introduces people to storytelling. You meet so many people at the races and everybody has an inspirational story to share.” - 43:20 - Joan Benoit Samuelson

“Don’t take yourself too seriously in any one discipline. Balance is the spice of life, I say, and I just try to achieve balance every day.” - 50:30 - Joan Benoit Samuelson


Useful links


Abbott World Marathon Majors

https://www.instagram.com/wmmajors/


Martin Yelling

https://www.instagram.com/martinyelling/

Deena Kastor
https://www.instagram.com/deena8050/

Joan Benoit Samuelson
https://www.instagram.com/joanbenoitsamuelson/

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