On this 21st of April 2020, we remember perhaps the second most famous marathon of the inaugural running boom era, the 1975 Boston Marathon.
Besides the 1972 Munich Olympic Marathon that saw Yale grad Frank Shorter win the first (and last) men’s Olympic Marathon gold medal for the USA since Johnny Hayes in 1908, it was the 1975 Boston Marathon that saw the sudden rise of Wesleyan grad Bill Rodgers to world-class status.
Bill’s 2:09:55 win at Boston `75 while stopping several times to drink water and tie his shoes not only broke Mr. Shorter’s 2:10:30 American record but catapulted Rodgers into the rarefied atmosphere as the Joe Frazier to Shorter’s Muhammad Ali as the nation and world’s premier marathon runner. It was after Boston 1975 that the Shorter vs. Rodgers rivalry catalyzed interest in the sport and led to the ongoing popularity of long-distance running. But before that fateful Patriot’s Day 45 years ago, Rodgers had been just another top regional level marathoner.
In this excerpt from the Runners Digest radio archives, we hear from Bill on one of our many, many laps around Jamaica Pond, one of the traditional training loops we used to do from his eponymous running store in Cleveland Circle.