Inaugural U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials 40-Year Reunion: Calling All 1984 Qualifiers!

March 24, 2024

The celebratory return to Olympia, Washington, site of the inaugural 1984 Trials

/SPORTSWIRE WOMEN/ – On the weekend of May 16 – May 19 in Olympia, Washington, the locally-based 1984 Trials Legacy Committee is organizing a 40-year reunion for the inaugural U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. held on May 12, 1984. More than 50 of the 267 Trials qualifiers plan to attend, and a search is under way to find the rest of those history-making runners. The committee is reaching out to the running community to help find those qualifiers. If you know one or more of the athletes, contact Info@orgsupport.com and an electronic invite will be sent out.

Weekend festivities include a private reception at the Governor’s Mansion, a celebratory public banquet on Friday, May 17 at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club in Olympia and a running expo. The weekend will conclude with the annual Capital City Marathon races on Sunday.

Over the past 40 years, many of the women who participated in the first U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials have gone on to have significant impact on their families, businesses, non-profits both locally and nationally and more. These pioneering athletes have written educational and inspirational books. Television shows were also created to tell their stories.

They include Joan Benoit (Samuelson), the 1984 Trials champion and inaugural women’s Olympic Marathon gold medalist, who is still highly active in the sport and beyond as a world class runner, motivational speaker, author, mom, race director and community activist.

The 1984 OMT runner-up Julie Brown is a family law attorney as well as an active board member on several local non-profit and for profit boards. Julie also supports local running, assisting at the CIF Championship Cross Country meet.

Jacqueline Hansen, a former American and world record holder in the marathon, passionately lobbied the U.S. Olympic Committee for many years to ensure that this historic event would happen. Prior to 1984, the longest official Olympic track distance for women was 3000 meters.

Sister Marion Irvine, known as the flying nun, was 54-years young at the Trials. She was the oldest participant in the 1984 Trials, and at 94, continues to inspire people to keep on moving.

Sally Edwards, 76-years young, has been a runner, triathlete, serial entrepreneur and prolific writer. The Fleet Feet running store chain founder is now CEO and co-founder of Heart Zones, a fitness program for schools

The Olympia-based committee is looking forward to celebrating this historic inaugural event and highlighting the accomplishments of these history-making women. They were brave trailblazers, who ran the streets and trails long before the world embraced the sport at the record levels of today. Put simply, the 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials produced a ripple effect that continues to this day. For example, women represent the majority of participants in road races compared to less than 20% in 1984. Also, Joanie’s 1984 Olympic gold medal performance in Los Angeles has had a lasting impact encouraging and inspiring women and girls of all ages, such as Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, to become runners for competitive or social reasons.

General information at: https://runsignup.com/TicketEvent/USWomensMarathonReunion