Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson says she will run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10, with hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic trials.

Samuelson, 53, told The Associated Press on Monday that she will try to break 2 hours, 46 minutes, the time needed to qualify for the trials.

Her No. 1 goal, she said, is to break 2:50 for the third time since turning 50.

“Being realistic, running a (trials qualifying time) is really going to take a huge effort,” said Samuelson, who ran last year’s New York City Marathon in 2:49:09.

Samuelson, who lives in Freeport, won the women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

She competed in the 2008 Olympic trials in Boston, saying then that it would be her last competitive marathon.

She finished in 2:49:08 to set an American record for the 50-54 age group but did not make the Olympic team.

This time, she won’t say whether Chicago will be her final competitive marathon.

She said she still runs about 80 miles a week and was interested in running in Chicago because that’s where she set an American record 25 years ago. The Chicago Marathon has grown from 9,000 to 45,000 runners since Samuelson ran the course in 2:21:21.

Race director Carey Pinkowski said he invited Samuelson to run one more time because she set the tone for an entire generation of long-distance runners.

“We’re excited to have her back,” he said.

Samuelson has qualified for all seven previous Olympic marathon trials. The 2012 men’s and women’s trials are scheduled to be held in Houston on Jan. 14 – the first time one city has hosted both marathon trials.