The 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics saw women participate in the marathon for the very first time, that August would see 50 competitors from 28 countries taking part, for me it would be memorable for two reasons, the courage that was shown by the Swiss entrant Gabriela Andersen Schiess who entered the stadium in a state of near exhaustion, but still managed to finish the race in 37th place and by the sheer dominance of the race by the winner Joan Benoit. Truth be told the frozen northerner was completely ignorant of the exploits Ms Benoit, who was dominating North American marathon running scene, at that particular time the frozen northerner was too busy wrapped up in what was going on the European circuit with Cram Ovett and Coe at the forefront of golden age for British athletics, so with the union jack swirling high I was only paying limited attention limited attention to what was going on in the world of woman’s athletics and besides with my know it attitude it was fairly obvious that the women’s marathon was going to won by a Norwegian, it was just a matter of which one, Ingrid Christensen or Greta Wietz . So when this American woman running in a baseball cap takes the race by the scuff of the neck I am immediately entranced and cannot take my eyes off her. I keep telling myself that it only a matter of time before either Wietz of Christensen will go past her but it never happens and Benoit wins the race in the outstanding time of 2.24.52 with Wietz second with Portugal’s Rosa Mota third (a distraught Christiensen finished fourth and out of the medal). To say I was impressed would be an understatement, what would impress me even more was the fact that the peerless Ms Benoit had knee surgery 17 days before the Olympic trials, a trail that she still managed to win by 30 seconds, Joan Benoit is not name that easily springs to mind unless you are real fan of marathon running which, is a shame because she really was and still is an outstanding athlete. The diminutive Benoit enjoyed a stellar career as a marathon runner and it would be no exaggeration to say that she has a strong claim to be ranked at the very top of her sport, since her retirement Joan has been an influential figure in women’s distance running in the United States and is woman that I greatly admire, but no matter how great her achievements, all I can think about is who is that woman in front wearing a baseball cap.