Joanie, Meb, Boston Billy Set for Gasparilla Distance Classic

02/15/2017 - 15:20

gasparilla1.pngTAMPA, FL — Joan Benoit Samuelson, Meb Keflezighi and Bill Rodgers will participate in “Dinner & Conversation” on Friday evening, Feb. 24, and then run in races at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Race Weekend, which will be held Feb. 25-26.

Samuelson plans to run in three races — the 5K and 15K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. Her name is synonymous with women’s running. She won the Boston Marathon women’s title in 1979 and 1983, then in 1984 won the first women’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. At age 56, she remains competitive and continues to set records in the master’s division.

Keflezighi will compete in the half marathon on Sunday. He is the only runner to win the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal. He has been on three Olympic teams, has won four NCAA championships, and 22 national championships. He plans to run the Boston Marathon in April and the New York Marathon in November, possibly his last marathons.

Rodgers was the first winner of the Gasparilla 15K in 1978. “Boston Billy” won four Boston Marathon races. He’ll be at the starting line to run the 15K again, aiming for a podium place in his age group.

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