Lisa Rainsberger

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Lisa Larsen Rainsberger, previously known as Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, (born May 7, 1961) is a distance runner. As of 2014, she is the last American woman to have won the Boston Marathon. She is a member of the University of Michigan Track and Field and Road Runners of America Halls of Fame.[1] Her marathon times were among the top ten in 1984 and 1987-1994.[2] As of 2008, she was listed four times in the top 100 all-time US women's marathon performances, with a best time of 2:28:15.[3]

While in high school in Battle Creek, Michigan, Rainsberger won competitions as a swimmer in the Individual Medley, qualifying for the 1980 Olympic Swimming trials, and later competed on scholarship as an All-American swimmer in college at the University of Michigan. She walked away from that scholarship to earn another as a collegiate runner and was a two-time All American in track and cross country.

In 1984, she ran the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon trials where she finished fourth, missing a spot in the Olympic games.[4] In 1985, she won the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:34:06.[5] The highest that American women have placed at Boston since Rainsberger's 1984 win is Desiree Davilla's 2011 second place finish and Kara Goucher’s 2009 third place finish.[6][7] Rainsberger finished first back-to-back in the Chicago Marathon in 1988 (2:29:17) and 1989 (2:28:15), something no American woman has repeated since.[citation needed] She had run in numerous other distance races on the track and road, in the United States and abroad (notably Japan's Hokkaido Marathon).

Rainsberger ended her 12-year career of professional competition after a final attempt to become a professional triathlete and training for the Olympics. She now focuses on her family and coaching. She coaches members of the Army's world class athlete program.[8][9]

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
1985 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:34:06
1988 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:29:17
1989 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:28:15
1990 Hokkaido Marathon Sapporo, Japan 1st Marathon 2:31:29
1993 Twin Cities Marathon Minneapolis, United States 1st Marathon 2:33:38
  • 1980-84 University of Michigan three sport NCAA All-American (swimming, cross country, track & field); Cross Country Team Captain
  • 1984 Montreal Marathon champion
  • 1985 Boston Marathon champion
  • 1985 USAT&F Runner of the Year
  • 1986-89 Crim 10 Mile champion, 52:32
  • 1988 US Olympic Marathon Team Trials, 4th, Alternate
  • 1988 US Olympic Track & Field Trials 10k, 32:12
  • 1988, 1989 Chicago Marathon champion, 2:29:12 and 2:28:15
  • 1989, 1990 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile champion, 52:30
  • 1989 American Record 15k, 48:28
  • 1989 USAT&F Runner of the Year
  • 1989 Runner's World Runner of the Year
  • 1991 Bloomsday 12k champion
  • 1990 Hokkaido Marathon champion
  • 1990, 1991 Sapporo, Japan Half Marathon champion
  • 1993 Twin Cities Marathon champion
  • 1995, 1996 Kyoto, Japan Half Marathon 2nd place
  • 1996 US Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier
  • 1997 Lawrence Triathlon - 1st
  • 1997 USA Triathlon Nationals - 5th
  • 1997 Mrs. T's Triathlon Pro - 5th

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]