As I reported before Julia “Stamps” Mallon would be competing today in the Napa Marathon.
Julia won her age division and was the 4th fastest female of the 861 women, in 2:58:39.

As good as that is I was more interested in what happened in the 5k race they held that day.

Joan Benoit Samuelson is a household name in the running community.
The way she won the US marathon trials shortly after leg surgery was unbelievable.
And of course then she won the Gold Medal in the Inaugural Women’s Marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Joan was here today to try to break the women’s 55-59 world record for the 5k at 18:32. She came very close, finishing in second out of all ages in 18:49.

And who was the only female to beat her? Santa Rosa’s own 7th grade prodigy Rylee Bowen who ran 18:06.
Nika “Horn” Bowen ties all this together as she was the Redwood Empires first female running sensation and is now of course Rylee’s mom and one of Julia’s training partner.

Rylee and Joan after the race. Photos by Thomas Benjamin

Start of the 5k.

Rylee and Santa Rosa HS Coach Sean Fitzpatrick and race offical Bob Shor at the finish.

Joan Benoit Samuelson finishing.