Lynn Alice Jennings (born July 1, 1960) is a retired American long-distance runner. She is one of the best female American runners of all time, with a range from 1500 meters to the marathon. She excelled at all three of the sport's major disciplines: track, road, and cross country. She won the bronze in the Women's 10,000 metres at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She set a world indoor record in the 5000 meter run in 1990.
She is a nine-time champion of the USA Cross Country Championships and won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships three times consecutively from 1990 to 1992. Only two other women (Norway's Grete Waitz and Kenya's Edith Masai) have achieved this feat.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Jennings attended the Bromfield school in Harvard, Massachusetts. She ran on the boys' cross country team, as there was no girls' team at the time. Her years as a high school state champion in cross country are reminiscent of an early scene in the film Without Limits, about Steve Prefontaine, in which Prefontaine shoots out to a determined lead very early in a high school race and is good enough to keep the lead to the finish. Jennings won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship nine times. She ran the Boston Marathon unofficially in 1978 and finished in 2:46, a time which would have placed third in the open women's division and a record for her age group '. Graduating in Harvard, MA, in 1978, she left behind countless records, including the national high school indoor 1500-meters run.
Jennings attended Princeton University. Despite numerous college running titles, she left the university "unsatisified" with her performance. She failed to qualify for the 1984 Olympics, but was the bronze medalist at 10,000 meters in the 1992 Summer Olympics, held in Barcelona, Spain. Her time of 31:19.89 was a new American record, and it lasted until May 3, 2002, when it was broken by Deena Kastor in Palo Alto, California.
She won the World Cross Country Championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The 1992 race was held at Franklin Park in Boston, on some of the same trails where she had won several Massachusetts state high school championships. She won consecutive 3000 m medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, taking bronze in 1993 then silver in 1995. Outdoors she had fifth-place finishes over 10,000 metres in both the 1991 and 1993 World Championships. She was also a nine-time U.S. Outdoor champion.
In 1999, approaching age 39, she ran officially in the Boston Marathon in 2:38. She later ran for Nike's Athletics West team.
Jennings currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She has become an accomplished masters rower (sculler), winning a gold medal in 2012 and bronze medal in 2011, in the women's grand master single scull event at the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the most competitive and prestigious long distance rowing races in the world.
|Representing the United States|
|1986||World Cross Country Championships||Neuchatel, Switzerland||2nd|
|1987||World Cross Country Championships||Warsaw, Poland||4th|
|World Championships||Rome, Italy||6th||10,000 m||31:45.43|
|1988||World Cross Country Championships||Auckland, New Zealand||4th|
|Olympic Games||Seoul, South Korea||6th||10,000 m||31:39.93|
|1989||World Cross Country Championships||Stavanger, Norway||6th|
|1990||World Cross Country Championships||Aix-les-Bains, France||1st|
|Goodwill Games||Seattle, United States||3rd||3000 m||8:52.34|
|1991||World Cross Country Championships||Antwerp, Belgium||1st|
|World Championships||Tokyo, Japan||5th||10,000 m||31:54.44|
|1992||World Cross Country Championships||Boston, United States||1st|
|Olympic Games||Barcelona, Spain||3rd||10,000 m||31:19.89|
|1993||World Indoor Championships||Toronto, Canada||3rd||3000 m||9:03.78|
|World Cross Country Championships||Amorebieta, Spain||3rd|
|World Championships||Stuttgart, Germany||5th||10,000 m||31:30.53|
|1995||World Indoor Championships||Barcelona, Spain||2nd||3000 m||8:55.23|
|World Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||12th||10,000 m||32:12.82|
|1996||Olympic Games||Atlanta, United States||9th||5000 m||15:17.50|
- Circuit wins
- Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women: 1977, 1989–1993
- Cinque Mulini (XC): 1986, 1987
- Pittsburgh Great Race: 1986
- Freihofer's Run for Women: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993–1996, 1998
- Charlotte Observer 10K: 1987, 1988, 1992
- Peachtree Road Race: 1987
- Gate River Run: 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999
- Falmouth Road Race: 1992
- Bay to Breakers: 1993
- Tulsa Run: 1993
- Crim Festival of Races: 1993
- Manchester Road Race: 1994
- Feaster Five Road Race: 1996, 1997