NEW YORK – Michiko “Miki” Gorman, a women’s marathon pioneer, former world record holder and winner of the Boston and New York marathons, died of cancer at the age of 80 on Sept. 19 in Bellingham, Washington, her daughter said in a blog post.
Born to Japanese parents in China’s Qingdao, Gorman grew up in Fukushima Prefecture in the post-war years and moved to the United States in 1964. She married a U.S. man and started running in her mid-30s in Los Angeles.
She took part in the Boston Marathon for the first time in 1974. Gorman, a housewife standing 153 cm tall, won the women’s race in a time of 2 hours, 47 minutes and 11 seconds, becoming the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon in under three hours. Her Boston marathon winning time was less than a minute slower than her marathon world record time, set in late 1973.
Her accomplishments continued after giving birth to her daughter in 1975. The following year, she set her personal best of 2:39.11 at the New York Marathon at the age of 41 and in 1977 she won both the Boston and New York marathon races.
Gorman was inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame in 2012.
The New York Road Runners, the organizers of the New York City Marathon, said in its Facebook post that it “mourns the passing” of Gorman, noting that she is the New York City Marathon’s most recent female American champion.
“She was a pioneer in women’s running who took up the sport in her 30s and is still the only woman to have won both the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon twice,” it said.
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