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.
4 thoughts on “BILL RODGERS ON-THE-RUN: REMEMBERING HIS 1975 BOSTON MARATHON WIN”
A couple of corrections on American gold medalists, Toni:
– Thomas Hicks, 1904
– Johnny Hayes, 1908
– Joan Benoit, 1984
Thanks, Greg. Added the Hayes reference. Figured folks would realize I was talking about the men’s category. Appreciate the critical eye. TR
That was a great run for Tom fleming who lead part of the race and placed 3rd in a personal best of 2:12.05. His NYAC club team place 3rd with bill bragg and Joel Pasternack
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Joel, Thanks for the reminder how much Boston meant to T. Fleming. Nobody ever loved the event more than Tom. We all miss him greatly. All the best, Toni