Dating back to the Olympiads of Ancient Greece, the fight for gender equality in sports has been a constant battle. Even as women slowly gained entry into sport throughout the 1900s, inclusion often came with different sets of standards and treatment.
These inequalities were all too prevalent in women's distance running, where marathoners like Jacqueline Hansen (pictured) were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon until 1972. Even then, the longest women's distance in the Olympic Games remained the 1,500-meter race.
The breakthrough for women's distance running came in November 1979 at the Women's International Marathon in Tokyo, the host city for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games. The important guest that day? IAAF President Adriaan Paulen.
Finally, after Paulen's advocacy, the doors were open. It took another 15 months before the event was approved in a vote by the International Olympic Committee, but the deed was done.
On August 5, 1984, the Olympic Women's Marathon would make its way through the streets of Los Angeles and finish at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
And what a race it was...
Despite having knee surgery just five months prior, American Joan Benoit took an early lead on contenders Grete Weitz, Rosa Mota and Ingrid Kristiansen.
It was a lead she never relinquished, as Hansen and The Athletic Congress (now USA Track & Field) long distance running committee chair Julie McKinney eagerly waited at the LA Coliseum.