- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Olympic gold medal marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson is competing in the Vermont City Marathon as part of a four-member relay team.

Samuelson, who took first in the women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, also has won two Boston Marathons, setting a record in 1983.

The Maine native plans to compete Sunday in her first KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. Samuelson, who turned 57 last week, is expected to run the opening two legs - 9.1 miles - for a team that includes three Vermont high school standouts: South Burlington’s Katherine Cook, Essex’s Emma Farrington and Champlain Valley’s Autumn Eastman, the Burlington Free Press reported (http://bfpne.ws/S3N4Jv ).

“I’m very excited to be a part of the relay with, from what I understand, some really amazing Vermont high school runners,” said Samuelson, who also was expected to give a talk Saturday to the marathon’s invited runners.

Samuelson says her participation in the Vermont relay is part of her mission to pay it forward.

“When I approached the tunnel in LA, and when I came out on the other side, I said I wanted to give back to the sport,” she said. “This is all part of the journey for me, and coming to Vermont is a part of that.”

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com