Dorothy Doolittle
Personal information
Born (1946-10-17) October 17, 1946 (age 76)
Elgin, Texas, US
Height4 ft 11.75 in (152 cm)[1]
Weight90 lb (41 kg)[1]
Medal record
Major marathons
Representing  United States
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Boston Marathon
Gold medal – first place 1977 Chicago Marathon

Dorothy Doolittle (born October 17, 1946)[2] is an American former marathon runner and athletics coach, who won the inaugural Chicago Marathon in 1977. She was an assistant coach of the US Women's team at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Early life

Doolittle was brought up in Elgin, Texas.[3] She studied at the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor in Belton, Texas.[3] At her college, women could only run in events up to 800m.[3]


Doolittle's first competitive event was the 1973 Houston Marathon.[4] In 1975, Doolittle won the Houston Marathon,[2][5] and the Rice Festival Marathon in Crowley, Louisiana.[2] In 1976, she won the White Rock Marathon (now the Dallas Marathon),[2][3] and came third at the Boston Marathon.[2][6] She forgot to wear her running watch at the Boston Marathon, which she believes cost her many minutes of time, and a chance of victory.[1] At the time, she was recorded as being the eight fastest female marathon runner in the world, and the fastest in Texas state.[6] In the same year, Doolittle won the marathon event at the Amateur Athletic Union Championships.[2]

In 1977, Doolittle won the Houston Marathon again,[2][3][5] in a record time.[7] As such, she was invited to attend the inaugural Chicago Marathon.[3] She had to pay an entrance fee of $5 to enter the race,[8] and paid for her own transport to the event.[3] Doolittle won the race, in a time of 2:50:47,[3][9] winning the race by over four minutes.[3] Later in the year, Doolittle lost the trophy that had been awarded to her for winning the event.[10] The 1977 Chicago Marathon was Doolittle's last competitive race.[4][3]

In 2002, Doolittle competed at the 5,000 meter race that accompanied that year's Chicago Marathon. It was the first time Doolittle had attended the marathon since her victory.[3]

Coaching career

Doolittle has coached at high schools and colleges including Westlake High School, Hill Country Middle School,[1] and the Universities of Missouri, Houston, Stanford and Tennessee.[3] She was head coach at Tennessee from 1989–97,[11] and whilst coaching there, she was selected as coach of the US women's team for the 1991 Pan American Games.[12] She was also an assistant coach of the US women's team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.[11][13] In 1993, Doolittle was given the NACDA/USOC Collegiate Olympic Coaches award.[14] Doolittle returned to Elgin in 1999, to teach in the Elgin Independent School District.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Doolittle ready for marathon – this time". Austin American-Statesman. April 17, 1977. p. 45. Retrieved January 13, 2021 – via
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Dorothy Doolittle". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hersh, Philip (September 19, 2002). "Remembering ex-winners". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Paving the way". Austin American-Statesman. February 11, 2004. p. 21. Retrieved January 13, 2021 – via
  5. ^ a b "The first thirteen". Houston Marathon. October 15, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Texas Monthly". Domain: The Lifestyle Magazine of Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications. July 1976. ISSN 0148-7736.
  7. ^ "Houston Marathon History". Houston Chronicle. January 13, 2002. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Juva, Theresa (September 25, 2018). "History of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon". Podium Runner. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  9. ^ "Chicago Marathon at a Glance". Runner's World. September 23, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  10. ^ Williams, Doug (October 2, 2017). "The winners of the 1977 race are still running 40 years later". Motiv Running. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Trainer, Eric (October 27, 2010). "SHARON COUCH SEAGRAVE JOINS T&F STAFF". University of Tennessee. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "Rosen, Jacket Elected as Olympic Coaches". Los Angeles Times. November 27, 1989. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  13. ^ "Bulletin Board". The Buffalo News. November 14, 1995. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  14. ^ "NACDA/USOC Collegiate Olympic Coaches Recipients". National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Retrieved February 16, 2020.