Thursday, June 11, 2009

Great Speaker line-up at Grandma's Marathon

Running Experts, Olympians, Gold Medalist to Speak at Grandma’s Marathon

(Duluth, Minn.) Athletes and running enthusiasts will have an opportunity to hear running tips and stories from some of the sport’s top experts during Grandma’s Marathon weekend. In conjunction with Austin-Jarrow, Grandma’s Marathon’s offers a series of guest speaking presentations on Friday, June 19, beginning at 1 p.m. in Edmund Fitzgerald Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). The presentations are free and open to the public.

Grandma’s Marathon Guest Speaker Presentations - Friday, June 19

1 p.m. - Scott Douglas, writer for Running Times Magazine
Scott Douglas is Web editor for Running Times. He is the co-author of four books on running, including Advanced Marathoning, and has published articles on running in publications as diverse as Runner's World, Weekly Reader, Slate and the Washington Post. Scott has logged more than 90,000 miles since he started running in 1979. He lives in South Portland, Maine.

2 p.m. - Carrie Tollefson, 1500-meter Olympian, 2004
Carrie Tollefson is recognized as one of the best runners ever to come out of Minnesota. She grew up in Dawson, Minnesota, and won 13 Minnesota high school championships in cross country and track. While at Villanova University, she won 5 NCAA championships individually and was a member of the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships team. Carrie joined Team USA Minnesota in 2001 and since then has been a three-time national champion (1500 meters, 3000 meters and 4k cross country) and a member of three U.S. World teams. She specializes in the 1500 and 5000 meter distances, and earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team for the 1500. In addition to being a professional runner, Carrie is also a television broadcaster and has provided commentary for many racing events throughout the nation. She will be part of the on-course radio broadcast team covering the 2009 Grandma’s Marathon women’s field.

3 p.m. - Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist
According to Runner's World Magazine, Joan Benoit Samuelson is "the greatest American marathoner in history." Joan will forever be remembered for her dominating performance against an all-star field in the inaugural Olympic women's marathon in 1984. She is the only American woman to date to win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon. Her resume also includes numerous national records (10K, 12K, 15K, 10 miles, Half-Marathon, 25K) and victories at the Boston Marathon (1979 and 1983). A Nike consultant and a clinician, Samuelson is a frequent speaker at running, health, and fitness clinics and does sports commentating. In 1998 she founded the popular Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She is the author of an autobiography Running Tide (Knopf, 1987), and Joan Samuelson's Running for Women (Rodale Press, 1995).

4 p.m. - Dick Beardsley, Grandma's Marathon course record holder
Dick Beardsley is known as one of the best marathon runners in U.S. history. Winner of Grandma’s Marathon in 1981 and 1982, Dick holds the course record with a time of 2:09:37. His most famous race, however, took place at the 1982 Boston Marathon where he crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 54 seconds, just two seconds behind Alberto Salazar. This personal best is still ranked the 10th fastest U.S. men's marathon time in history. After a series of accidents, injuries and life-altering events, Dick remains a prominent figure in the running community and travels around the world to share his amazing story.

For more information on the 2009 schedule of events for Grandma’s Marathon weekend, visit


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