Her first major distance win came in the Great Pumpkin Classic over a mile-and-a-half course.
In 1974, Joan finished ninth in the National Road Runners Age Group competition in Van Cortland Park in New York City.
In 1976, Joan set a women's record in the Portland Boy's Club five mile race.
In November of 1976, Joan finished fifth in the Junior Cross Country Nationals in Miami, winning the overall Junior Championship. In June of 1977, finished sixth in the 10,000 meter AAU Senior National Championships in Los Angeles.
In 1978, won the mile and two mile at the BAA winter meet relayhs in Boston, and was the 5,000 meter winner in the Atlantic Coast relays in 16:22.5, and the two mile victor in the New England AAU Women's meet.
Tops on partial listing of her accomplishments, of course, was her 2:35.15 record victory in the women's division of the 1979 Boston Marathon as a Bowdoin College student.
Benoit's sensational '79 campaign also included several New England college titles from 1,500 meters to 5 kilometers, the 5,000 meter at the AIAW nationals at Tallahassee, Florida. These and other feats, including a 51:27.5 world record 15,000 meters, earned Benoit the Paavo Nurmi medal as thebest femal distance runner in America that year.
An appendicitis operation curtailed Benoit's season, but not before she'd won the New Zealand women's marathon in a fast 2:31.33, second fastest ever by a woman, and Palm Beach 10-kilometer.
Benoit rebounded in '81, her successful card topped by a world record win in the San Diego minimarathon, 1:11.6 for the 13.1 miles.
Joan is presently Boston University women's distance and cross country coach.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.