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Thirty years ago Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first women’s Olympic marathon in Los Angeles. Her sponsor Nike hosted a 3-mile run at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the anniversary of her Aug. 5, 1984, triumph. We were there…
Waiting in line with some 100 other runners who registered for the event.
Inspired by the photograph of Joanie at the marathon finish that could be seen well beyond the stadium.
Joanie appreciated the intimate crowd, compared to the masses that were there 30 years earlier.
Before the 3-miler, runners began to gather around the designated Q&A area.
People started filling in as the time neared to see and hear an American icon.
Photo opps in the stadium included victory salutes with Joanie.
Alyssa Roenigk of ESPN (right) introduced Joanie and got historic with her.
Joanie talked about skipping the first water station in order to find her stride in the marathon. She encouraged everyone to run their own race.
Alyssa surprised Joanie with her journal that recently turned up in a box of memorabilia.
According to Joanie’s journal, days before the marathon, she was picking berries and making raspberry jam.
Finally it was time to join Joanie on a run, so she made her way to the front of the crowd.
Gracious at every turn, she talked to people along the way.
Joanie’s ready to lead everyone out of the stadium.
The run proceeded through the USC campus.
Nike gave participants white caps in honor of the one Joanie wore during her marathon win.
When she paused to take off her jacket, we were able to pass her.
And then she passed us.
Back at the coliseum, we were greeted by the Olympic flame.
Joanie spent more time taking photos with runners afterward than it took to run the 3 miles.
This photo gallery brought to you by Editorial Assistant Emily Polachek and Managing Editor Nicki Miller.
Managing Editor Nicki Miller poses with Joanie.