There are a handful of names that are synonymous with the Boston Marathon. And Joan Benoit Samuelson is at the top of that list.

The Boston Marathon running legend joined GBH at the Boston Public Library studio Friday for a conversation ahead of Marathon Monday and the 50th anniversary celebration of the race's women’s division.

"If it hadn’t been for the women who preceded me, I wouldn't be here talking to you, because they really opened the doors for all of us,” Samuelson said to GBH's Boston Public Library Studio Executive Director Linda Polach.

“If it hadn't been for their courage and their passion and their bravery, we wouldn't be talking about a women's field," Samuelson added.

Women like Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb, who in 1966 became the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon after sneaking out of the bushes and onto the race course. Or Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 finessed a bib number for the Marathon after registering for entry as “K. V. Switzer.”

And although she isn’t one to brag, Samuelson’s success as a marathoner has cemented her status as a legend in the Boston running community among the likes of Gibb and Switzer. Whether it was her American record-setting victory in her first Boston Marathon in 1979, or her gold medal finish in the first women's marathon at the 1984 Olympic Games, Samuelson has laid the groundwork for many female runners who have followed in her footsteps, ultimately redefining the sport for women.

“I think that we try to pass the baton forward and help each other,” Samuelson said.

Watch: Joan Benoit Samuelson on the Boston Marathon

The Maine native also shared a few words of advice for those running the Boston Marathon this year, adding some key things to remember as runners make their way from Hopkinton to Boston.

"You just have to be patient on this course…You just have to realize that everybody out there has an inspiring story to share. What was it that motivated them to want to run the Boston Marathon? What motivated them to want to raise money for a charity? And what motivated them to want to come back like I come back year after year to catch up with old friends who have been a very big part of my life?" Samuelson said.

As the interview came to a close and the Newsfeed Cafe emptied out, a young woman approached the BPL Studio with flushed cheeks and teary eyes. First-time Boston Marathon runner Maureen O’Shea was starstruck to be in the presence Boston Marathon royalty. The 26 year old from Vermont qualified for the 2022 Boston Marathon by only a minute.

While taking a photo together, O'Shea looked down at Samuelson's and her own feet: both donning the same pair of Nike sneakers. A moment O'Shea relished.

Two runners nearly fourty years apart — one at the beginning of their Boston Marathon journey, the other deep into theirs — and both sharing a love for this historic race.