Six-Time Olympian and Former World Record Holder Anne Audain Visits GRTC July 31st!


That’s right! Anne Audain, a New Zealand native, Olympian six times over, former World Record holder in the women’s 5k (15:13), and the first professional female runner, is visiting Coach Mearns as part of GRTC’s program.

The “Evening with Olympian Anne Audain” will be held on July 31st at 7:30PM at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. The event will be free to GRTC members, their families and the public too, but since space is limited, please RSVP by email to

Who is she?

Anne Audain who has been dubbed “The Winningest Road Racer in History,” sure came a long way from her humble beginnings growing up on New Zealand’s tiny island of Waiheke. Adopted at birth, she overcame a painful childhood disability thanks to reconstructive surgery on both feet as a teenager. Within a couple years, Anne joined her first and only track club, and later left home to become a champion athlete and a pioneer in women’s professional sports.

Here’s a brief snapshot of some of her many accomplishments:

  • First Professional female distance runner (1981)
  • Won more road races than any other male or female distance runner in the 1980’s (75 wins out of 122 elite, professional races)
  • Set a World Record at the 5000 meters – 15 minutes 13 seconds (1982)
  • Six-Time Olympic Qualifier (1972, 76, 80, 84, 88, 92)
  • Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver Medalist (1982, 1986)
  • Inducted into Running USA Hall of Champions 2008
  • Awarded the MBE from Queen Elizabeth
  • New Zealand Medal of Honor 1990
  • Founder of Idaho Women’s Fitness Celebration in 1993 which became the largest run/walk exclusively for women and children in the USA

Our special GR Event will include a frank and motivating conversation with Coach Mearns, who was Anne’s manager for most of the 1980’s, the peak of her professional athletic career. Coach Mearns and Audain became lifelong friends, working on special events and a film about her life story.  Anne’s been an inspiration to his own running kids and she looks forward to mentoring our young runners too.

Be sure to check out the trailer to her documentary “Running Her Way” at Film clips and Anne’s comments will be an exciting part our “Evening with an Olympian” next Thursday, July 31 at the Williamsburg Community Chapel.

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