Jacqueline Hansen Interview

Jacqueline (Jaqi) Hansen is truly one of the most important pioneers of distance running and the marathon in the U.S. and around the world. Jaqi is probably best known as the Boston Marathon winner in 1973 (only 4 months after her first marathon.) But she also twice set the women's world record in the marathon, becoming the first woman runner under 2:45, and then under 2:40.

In addition, she and several colleagues on the International Runners Committee lobbied the International Olympic Committee to give women more track opportunities in the Olympic Games. The marathon isn't enough, they argued; we also deserve to have a 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, and steeplechase. It took a while, but eventually they won on all fronts.

This conversation with Jaqi was recorded shortly after she returned from the 40th anniversary celebration of the first U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for women. That event, and the 40th celebration, took place in Olympia, Washington. 

In this podcast, Jaqi talks about:

# Watching Cheryl Bridges run the Culver City Marathon in 1971--the first time Jaqi had ever seen a marathon.

# Trying (and winning) the same race herself a year later.

# Winning the Boston Marathon in 1973

# Attending her first women-only marathon in Waldniel, Germany, in 1974. Her trip was financed by friend and fellow runner (and actor) Bruce Dern, father of current film star Laura Dern.

# Running a 2:38:10 at the Nike OTC Marathon in 1975.

# Her struggle to qualify for the first Women's Marathon Trials in 1984--a half dozen years past her prime. (She succeeded.)

# Her experiences at the first Women's Olympic Marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, taking care of a 4-year-old son while also cheering (and then crying for) Joan Benoit. 

# And much more.

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