When she needs a break from her hectic life, Joan Benoit
Samuelson retreats to the gardens outside her house in Freeport,
Maine. "They're just so relaxing and peaceful," says Benoit
Samuelson, 47, whose days are filled with motivational talks,
in-store appearances, board meetings for nonprofit organizations,
growing vegetables for a food bank and organizing her annual
People's Beach to Beacon 10K.
Married and the mother of two, Benoit Samuelson still competes in
road races. But inside the house there are no signs of a former
marathon world-record holder (2:22:43) and Olympic champion
(1984). "I keep my gold medal in a drawer with window cranks and
batteries and Christmas ornaments," she says. "Occasionally the
drawer swells because of the weather, and I can't get into it at
B/W PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN
COLOR PHOTO: JASON GROW ARC OF JOAN The former Olympic marathoner stays close to hergarden.