WSU’s Benson runs Boston Marathon 8 months pregnant

The Detroit News

Jocelyn Benson is due to give birth to her first child in the next six weeks, but she didn’t let that stop her from running in the Boston Marathon.

Benson, 38, the dean of the Wayne State University Law School, completed a rare feat Monday, finishing the nation’s most prestigious 26.2-mile race in her eighth month of pregnancy, according to a news release from the school. Her finishing time: 6 hours, 12 minutes and 32 seconds.

It was her 22nd marathon, including a previous Boston run in 2009, when she finished the race in four hours, according to WSU.

Benson qualified for this year’s race in Beantown by finishing the San Diego Marathon last May in 3 hours, 37 minutes.

“I found out in September that I was accepted to run in Boston, and I found out a month later that I was pregnant,” Benson said in a statement. “Initially, I thought that eight months would be too far along for me to compete. But then I read a story about Amy Kiel, who had my same due date, was in her mid-thirties and had finished Boston in 2015. Her story inspired me to realize what seemed impossible was possible. So, I started training and, with the blessing of my doctor, flew to Boston to run.”

Benson and her husband, Ryan Friedrichs, who cheered her on Monday in Boston, are expecting a son in June.

Benson was appointed WSU’s law school dean in June 2014, after having been interim dean since December 2012. She ran for Michigan Secretary of State in 2010, losing to current officeholder Ruth Johnson.