What: "There Is No Finish Line" premiere
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Cost: $15 at the door
More info: thedairy.org
A new documentary about the first Olympic women's marathon gold medallist, Joan Benoit Samuelson, will premier in Boulder on Wednesday at the Dairy Center for the Arts.
The movie follows Samuelson during her training for the 2010 Chicago Marathon. The then-53-year-old attempted to become the first person to run a sub-three-hour race in five decades.
Though Samuelson toys with the idea of Chicago being the final marathon of her career, filmmaker Erich Lyttle said the film's title is based on her never-ending love of the sport. Samuelson just can't quit, he said.
"She's driven to continue to push herself," Lyttle said. "She basically believes you can never finish trying to do your best."
Samuelson keeps running because she believes she's not the same person she was 40 years ago, Lyttle said.
"She doesn't really want to stand on those accolades anymore," Lyttle said. "She wants to be important and relevant in modern times."
Samuelson began running in high school in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She received All-America honors in cross-country and track at Bowdoin College before winning the Boston Marathon in 1979. She won Boston again in 1983, breaking the world record. A year later, the 27-year-old ran and won the first women's marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
In the film, friends, colleagues and running experts describe how Samuelson overcame fear, nerves and critics of female runners at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Yet Samuelson and the other female runners stepped to the line, and in doing so, made history.
"Everybody showed up on that line from all these countries," said Billy Threadgold, her longtime friend and running partner. "It wasn't just the Olympic gold that they were going for, that's enough pressure."
The 48-minute film will be shown alongside two other running films, "Running the Rockpile" and "A Runner's Life," which details the life of former University of Colorado runner Ted Castaneda.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.