Miki Gorman

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Miki Gorman
Personal information
Full name Michiko Suwa Gorman
Nationality American
Born (1935-08-09)9 August 1935
Qingdao, China
Died 19 September 2015(2015-09-19) (aged 80)
Bellingham, Washington
Country  United States
Sport Track and field athletics
Event(s) Marathon

Michiko Suwa "Miki" Gorman (August 9, 1935 – September 19, 2015[1]) was a Chinese-born American marathoner during the mid-1970s. Gorman is the only woman to win both the Boston and New York City marathons twice, and one of only two woman runners to win both marathons in the same year.[2]


Michiko Suwa was born to Japanese parents in Qingdao, China, grew up in Japan's Fukushima prefecture during the post-war years, and moved to the United States in 1964.[3] Shortly after she moved, she married Michael Gorman.[4] At 5'0½" tall and 86 pounds, she took up running while in her early 30s to gain weight. In 1970, as her first event, Michiko (now "Miki" Gorman) ran an indoor 100 mile run in 21:04:00 in Los Angeles, California.[5]

Gorman set an unofficial world's best [6] for the women's marathon of 2:46:36 at the Western Hemisphere Marathon [7] (now the Culver City Marathon) on December 3, 1973, just four years after she started to run. Four months later, in April 1974, she won the Boston Marathon in a course record of 2:47:11. Gorman would also place second at Boston in 1976,[8] and won Boston again in 1977.

Gorman also won the New York City Marathon twice, in 1976 and 1977, at the age of 41 and 42 respectively. She is currently the last American woman to win the New York City Marathon. She set a personal best during her 1976 victory with a time of 2:39:11, then the second fastest women's marathon in history and just a minute off the world record.[9]

Gorman participated in the 1977 World Masters Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden and again in 1979 when they were held in Hanover, Germany. At Gothenburg, she easily won her masters division in the 1500 meters, 3000 meters, cross-country, and marathon competitions.[10] In Hanover, at the age of 44, she won her division in the 5000 meters, 10000 meters, and marathon races.[11]

In 1978, Gorman set a women's world record in the half-marathon.[12] Frequently injured in subsequent years, Gorman competed sporadically through the years 1978 to 1981. She decided to retire from competitive running in 1982.

Gorman was inducted into both the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame and the USATF Masters Hall of Fame,[13] as well as the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.[14] In 1979, the Supersisters trading card set was produced and distributed; one of the cards featured Gorman's name and picture.[15] In 1981, a film called "Ritoru Champion" (known on video in America as My Champion), starring Chris Mitchum and documenting the events of Gorman's life, was released.

Gorman died from cancer at the age of 80 in Bellingham, Washington.[1]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Robinson, Roger (2015-10-07). "Miki Gorman, Women's Marathon Pioneer, Dies at 80". Runners World. 
  2. ^ "The National Distance Running Hall of Fame Class of 2005 Nominees". National Distance Running Hall of Fame. 2005. 
  3. ^ "Women's marathon pioneer Michiko "Miki" Gorman dies at 80", Kyodo News, October 8, 2015 
  4. ^ Wilkins, Barbara (November 7, 1977). "Miki Gorman Started Jogging in 1969; Now, at 42, She Is One of the World's Best Marathoners". People 
  5. ^ Gorman, Miki (October 30, 2005). "As the Miles and the Years Pass By". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Chronology of the World's Marathon Record". Run The Planet Inc. Seattle. 2002. 
  7. ^ "History of Women's Distance Running". 
  8. ^ "American Takes Boston Marathon". Palm Beach Post. April 20, 1976. p. D2. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ ""Marathoners of the Decades" Are Saluted in Celebration of the 40th Running of the New York City Marathon 2009". Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  10. ^ "World Masters Championships Track and Field August 8-13 1977 Slottsskogsvallen Gothenburg Sweden" (PDF). MastersHistory.org. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  11. ^ "World Veterans Championships Hannover 27.7-2.8.1979" (PDF). MastersHistory.org. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  12. ^ Robinson, Roger (July–August 2010). "Footsteps: Historic Half Marathons: Ron Hill to Hospital Hill". The Running Times. 
  13. ^ "USATF Masters Hall of Fame". USA Track & Field, Inc. 2006. 
  14. ^ Robinson, Roger (November 2010). "Footsteps: The Miki Gorman Story". The Running Times. 
  15. ^ Wulf, Steve (2015-03-23). "Supersisters: Original Roster". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
Preceded by
Belgium Daniele Justin
Women's Half Marathon World Record Holder
November 19, 1978 – March 10, 1979
Succeeded by
United States Ellison Goodall
Preceded by
United States Cheryl Bridges
Women's Marathon World Record Holder
December 2, 1973 – October 27, 1974
Succeeded by
France Chantal Langlacé