1919-2007

An American Pioneer

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TedCorbitt1

Black Female Marathon History

TedCorbitt2

All-Time Best African American Female Marathoners

First Winner of a Marathon: February 1975
Marilyn Bevans - Washington Birthday Marathon, Beltsville, Maryland - 3:04:32

First Sub 3 Hour Marathon: April 1975
Marilyn Bevans – Boston Marathon - 2:55:52 - 4th place

Most Sub 3 Hour Marathons American Born:
Marilyn Bevans (13), Shawanna White (13), Michele (Bush) Cuke (11), Ella Willis (11), Michele (Soderberg) Hill (10)

Most Sub 2:45 Marathons American Born:
Michele (Bush) Cuke (8), Ella Willis (6)

Most Years All-Time Leader:
Michelle (Bush) Cuke (23), Sami Akbar (12), Marilyn Bevans (8)

American Born - Rankings

Samia Akbar 2:34:14 - New York Marathon 12th place – 2006
Michele (Bush) Cuke 2:37:41 – California International Marathon 2nd place – 1991
Ella Willis 2:38:22 – Detroit Free Press Marathon 1st place – 1989
Shawanna White 2:45:19 - One City Marathon 3rd place - 2018
Jenae Strader 2:49:11 – Philadelphia Marathon 4th place – 1999
Alisa (Hill) Harvey 2:49:28 – Richmond Marathon 2nd place – 1999
Marilyn Bevans 2:49:56 – Boston Marathon 2nd place – 1979
Michele (Soderberg) Hill 2:50:19 – Sri Chinmoy Marathon CA 1st place - 1983
Ingrid Walters 2:52:43 - Chicago Marathon 1st place Age 45-49 - 2018
Krystine Beneke 2:59:47 - Boston Marathon 129th place- 2014

All-Time Best Marathon Performance Progression - American Born

Sami Akbar 2:34:14 (2006 to Present)
Michele (Bush) Cuke 2:37:41 (1991 - 2006)
Ella Willis 2:38:22 (1989 to 1991)
Michele (Bush) Cuke 2:39:07 (1981 -1989)
Marilyn Bevans 2:49:56 (1979 to 1981)
Marilyn Bevans 2:51:12 (1977 to 1979)
Marilyn Bevans 2:55:52 (1975 to 1977)
Marilyn Bevans 3:04:32 (1975)
Marilyn Bevans 3:17:42 (1974 to 1975)
Marilyn Bevans 3:31:45 (1973 to 1974)

Number of Sub 3 Hour Marathons:

Samia Akbar - 4
Mary Akor - 59*
Janet Bawcom - 2*
Marilyn Bevans - 13
Obsie Birru - 2*
Michele (Bush) Cuke - 11
Alisa (Hill) Harvey - 1
Michele (Soderberg) Hill - 10
Jenae Strader - 5
Shawanna White - 13
Ella Willis - 11
*US Citizen Total

Olympic Marathon Trial Participation

1984: Michele (Soderberg) Hill - Did Not Finish
1988: None
1992: Ella Willis - 24th place
1996: None
2000: Jenae Strader - 41st place; Alisa (Hill) Harvey - Did Not Finish
2004: Mary Akor- 17th place
2008: Samia Akbar - 18th place; Mary Akor - 19th place
2012: Janet Bawcom - 5th place
2016: Janet Bawcom- 5th place; Obsie Birru - 114th place

Naturalized Citizens - Rankings

Misike Demissie (Ethiopia) 2:25:45 - Ottawa Marathon 2nd place - 2013

Belainesh Gebre (Ethiopia) 2:26:17 - Chicago Marathon 4th place - 2011

Janet Bawcom (Kenya) 2:29:45 – Olympic Trials Houston 5th place - 2012
Aliphine Tuliamuk 2:33:18 - New York Marathon 13th place - 2017
Mary Akor (Nigeria) 2:33:50 – Twin Cities Marathon 2nd place – 2006 – 2 Year Doping Ban 2013
Obsie Birru (Ethiopia) 2:36:53 – Twin Cities Marathon 5th place - 2015

Source: Association of Road Racing Statistician
Note: This research is ongoing in search of additional athletes.