Julie Brown
Personal information
Full nameJulie Ann Brown
Born (1955-02-04) February 4, 1955 (age 67)
Billings, Montana
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight108 lb (49 kg)
Event(s)800m--2:00.8, 1500m--4:06.4, Mile--4:30.23, 3000m--8:58.27, 5000m--15:39.5, cross-country-(No time), marathon--2:26:24[1]
Coached byBill Dellinger

Julie Ann Brown (born February 4, 1955)[2] is an American retired distance runner. She won the IAAF World Cross Country Championship in 1975 and represented the United States in the 1984 Summer Olympics in the women's marathon, placing 36th.[3]

Brown set the American women's marathon record at the Nike OTC Marathon in 1978, running 2:36:23.[4]

Brown concentrated on track and cross-country running prior to the Olympic trials but a victory in the Avon Women's Marathon in 1983 convinced her that she could qualify for the Olympic marathon team. She ran a conservative race staying in the pack until the midway point and broke away finishing second, 37 seconds behind the Olympic trials winner, Joan Benoit Samuelson.[5] She broke the 10,000 metres world record setting a time of 35:00.4 minutes in 1975.[6]

After her track career, Brown received her J.D. from Western State University and, joined a law firm as an attorney.[7]

High school

Brown was born in Billings, Montana,[2] and competed in a variety of distance events winning several state championships while attending Billings Senior High School.[7] She competed in the 880-yard run winning the state championship for three years in a row starting in 1970. She still holds the All-State record with an 880-yard time of 2:11.0.[7] She also won two 440-yard run championships and in her senior year, she was state cross-country champion as well.[7]


Brown started at the University of California, Los Angeles before switching to California State University, Northridge.[8] As a college athlete she won Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national championships in the 800 meters, 1500 meters, 3000 meters, and cross-country. Brown recalls how her UCLA cross country coach mistreated her and because of the environment at UCLA she decided to transfer to CSUN.[9] She also won Amateur Athletic Union national titles in the 1500 meters, 3000 meters, cross-country, and marathon, as well as winning The Athletics Congress national titles in 3000 meters, cross-country, and marathon.[7]

US Championships

Julie Brown ended her running career in 1985 as a 13-time national champion and 20-time Team USA member either in track and cross country.[10]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1975 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships White Plains, New York, United States 1st 1500 meters
1976 USA Marathon Championships Culver City, California, United States 1st Marathon 2:45:33
1978 USA Cross Country Championships Memphis, Tennessee, United States 1st 5 km 16:32
1979 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships New York, New York, United States 1st Two Miles 9:46.1
USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Walnut, California, United States 3rd 1500 meters 4:09.4
3rd 3000 meters 8:58.3
1981 USA Cross Country Championships Burbank, California, United States 1st 5 km 15:49
1982 USA Road Running Championships 25 km Ventura, California, United States 1st 25 km 1:27:53
1983 USA Marathon Championships Los Angeles, California, United States 1st Marathon 2:26:26
1984 USA Olympic Trials Track and Field Championships Los Angeles, California, United States 1st 5000 meters 15:39.50
2nd Marathon 2:31:41

[11] Brown placed 8th at 1985 New York Marathon in 2:37:53 and 2nd at 1982 New York Marathon in 2:28:33. Brown won 1981 Dallas Marathon in 2:33:40.


Brown placed 27th at 1974 IAAF World Cross Country Championships – Senior women's race in 13:34.8.

Brown won an IAAF World Cross Country Championship in 1975 in 13:42; the first American woman to do so.[2][12] She won the race in a time of 13:42, five seconds ahead of Bronislawa Ludwichowska from Poland.[13]

At the 1979 Pan American Games, Brown won three silver medals,[14] taking second place in the 800 meters, 1500 meters, and 3000 meters.[15][16][17]

After graduating from CSUN, Brown moved to San Diego to train for the 1980 Olympics.[18]

Brown qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics in the 800 meters and 1500 meters but did not compete due to the boycott of the Olympics.[19] She was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal instead.[20]

She entered the marathon at the inaugural 1983 World Championships in Athletics, but failed to finish the competition.[21]

Brown was sponsored by Adidas who set her up with coach Bill Dellinger and moved her from California to Eugene, Oregon in 1983 so she could focus on the marathon distance.[22] [23]

Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon, sculpted three 12-inch bronze figurines of a running pony-tailed girl that were given as trophies to Joan Benoit Samuelson, Julie Brown, and Julie Isphording, the top three women marathoners at the US Olympic trials in 1984.[24][25] Julie Brown trained on President Reagan's Santa Barbara, California ranch prior to 1984 Olympic Games to adjust to the heat and humidity of 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.[26] Brown did compete in the 1984 Olympics in the marathon, placing 36th.

Brown was later sponsored by Champion products; Brown was featured in magazines in an international ad for Vaseline - Sponsored Athletes in the 1980's only made six figures, so Julie Brown went to law school at night to pursue a career.[27]

In July 2008, President Carter gave the 1980 Team USA athletes Congressional Congressional Gold Medal.[28][29][30][31]


  1. ^ Bloom, Marc (2001). Run with the Champions. Rodale Inc. pp. 171. ISBN 9781579542900.
  2. ^ a b c "Julie Brown Biography and Olympic Results". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  3. ^ Moran, Malcolm (6 August 1984). "Marathon - Gonzales Fans' Olympic Trip Plan Backfires". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. p. 7B. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  4. ^ Marathon Record New York Road Runners[dead link]
  5. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  6. ^ "12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009" (PDF). Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2009. pp. Pages 546, 643. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Julie Ann Brown" (PDF). MHSA.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  8. ^ Ortega, John (September 11, 1994). "Cal State Northridge All-time Track And Field Leaders". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  10. ^ Julie Brown Hall of Fame biography Montana High School Association
  11. ^ Julie Brown Hall of Fame biography Montana High School Association
  12. ^ Bloom, Marc (24 March 1990). "CROSS-COUNTRY; Running Up the Credentials". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  13. ^ "38th IAAF WORLD CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS Facts & Figures Facts" (PDF). iaaf.org. International Association of Athletic Federations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  14. ^ Green, Bob (4 September 1979). "Full U.S. Team Enters University Games". The Virgin Islands Daily. Retrieved 14 July 2010.[dead link]
  15. ^ "American Men Take Pan American Gold". Star-News. 14 July 1979. pp. 1–C. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  16. ^ McMane, Fred (8 July 1979). "Swimmingly - U.S. Still Dominating Pan Am Competition". Beaver County times. pp. C-2. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  17. ^ Robinson, James (10 July 1979). "Robinson Defeats Juantorena In 800". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. pp. B4. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  18. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  19. ^ Fachet, Robert (27 June 1984). "Olympic Trials Provide Emotional Wins, Losses". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 28. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  20. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  21. ^ Women Marathon World Championship 1983 Helsinki (FIN) - Sunday 07.08 Archived 2016-01-31 at the Wayback Machine. Todor. Retrieved on 2015-03-28.
  22. ^ Julie A. Brown grew up in Billings, Montana, as one of five, and began her running career when she followed in her sister’s footsteps and joined the high school cross-country team. Before long, she was paving her own path. Eventually, she made many US national teams during and after college. She excelled in an impressive range of events—from the 4x400 to the marathon to cross country. Notably, she was the first U.S. woman to win the IAAF Cross Country championships in 1975, ran a 2:26:26 marathon, and qualified for the first-ever women's Olympic Marathon. Starting Line 1928
  23. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  24. ^ Musca, Michael (April 2008). "Finally, One for the Girls: The '84 Women's Olympic Trials Marathon". Running Times Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  25. ^ Creamer, Robert W. (May 28, 1984). "Scorecard". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  26. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  27. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  28. ^ Julie A. Brown Starting Line 1928
  29. ^ Would-be U.S. Olympians receive Congressional Gold Medals: July 30, 1980
  30. ^ Carter hands out Congressional gold medals, July 30, 1980
  31. ^ U.S. Congress Awards Congressional Gold Medals to 1980 Olympic Team NBC Sports