Dale Greig

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Dale Greig (born 15 May 1937) is a former Scottish long-distance runner who is recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations as having set a world best in the women's marathon on 23 May 1964 with a time of 3:27:45.[1][nb 1] Grieg held world's best title until Mildred Sampson set a new mark nearly three months later.[nb 2]

With this performance, she became the first woman to break 3hr 30min for the marathon distance. Her record was set on 23 May 1964 at the Isle of Wight Marathon where she was followed around the course by an ambulance. It was her first attempt at the distance.

She was also the first woman to run the 55-mile London-to-Brighton race in 8:30 in 1972 – seven years before female competitors were officially allowed. In 1974, at the age of 37, she won the first international championship marathon for women, at the world veterans' championships in Paris.


  1. ^ According to a 2002 interview in The Independent, Greig said: "My time was actually 3hr 27min 25sec, but it was published in the papers as 3hr 27min 45sec."[2]
  2. ^ The International Association of Athletics Federations notes Sampson's mark as being set on 21 July 1964.[1] Peter Heidenstrom, a statistician for Athletics New Zealand, has been reported as providing a date of December 1964,[3] however, the Association of Road Racing Statisticians notes the date of Sampson's performance was 16 August 1964.[4] Other sources from August to October 1964 support the August date.[5][6] The ARRS also indicates that Sampson's mark was set during a time trial and does not recognize it in their progression of marathon world bests.[4][7]


  1. ^ a b "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009." (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. p. 653. Archived from the original (pdf) on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  2. ^ The Independent on Sunday 20 October 2002
  3. ^ Jutel, Anne-Marie (2007), "Forgetting Millie Sampson: Collective Frameworks for Historical Memory.", New Zealand Journal of Media Studies, 10 (1): 31–36, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24 
  4. ^ a b "World Marathon Rankings for 1964". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 21 May 2010. Mildred Sampson (NZL) ran 3:19:33 in a time trial on 16 Aug 1964 at Auckland NZL. 
  5. ^ "Housewife's Marathon Record Run", The Age, Melbourne, p. 22, 18 August 1964, retrieved 21 May 2010 
  6. ^ Rogin, Gilbert (5 October 1964), "The Fastest Is Faster", Sports Illustrated, archived from the original on 2010-03-05, retrieved 21 May 2010, One Saturday last August, a Mrs. Millie Sampson, a 31-year-old mother of two who lives in the Auckland suburb of Manurewa, went dancing until 1 a.m. The next day she cooked dinner for 11 visitors. In between, she ran the marathon in 3:19.33, presumably a record. 
  7. ^ "World Best Progressions- Road". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 21 May 2010. The 3:19:33 by Milred Sampson (NZL) on 16 Aug 1964 at Auckland NZL was a time trial. 
Preceded by
United States Merry Lepper
Women's Marathon World Record Holder
23 May 1964 – 21 July 1964*
(*see explanation in the Notes section)
Succeeded by
New Zealand Mildred Sampson