My Picks For Best Running Moments

2000 Olympics- Ngeny nips El Guerrouj

Kenya’s Noah Ngeny and Hicham El Guerrouj were the favorites in the 1500 meters. Both men won their semifinal heats. El Guerrouj led the final through the last turn, but Ngeny pulled ahead with 25 meters remaining and set the current Olympic record with a time of 3:32.07, beating El Guerrouj by .25 second. El Guerrouj then enjoyed his Olympic breakthrough in 2004, edging Bernard Lagat by .12 in the 1500 (3:34.18), and then nipping Kenenisa Bekele in the 5000 by .20 (13:14.39).

1984 Woman US Olympic Marathon Trails and Olympic Marathon

Joan Benoit had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on April 25 five days later she was running but overcompensated and injured her left hamstring.  One week before the trails she couldn’t run.  May 12 she won the first woman’s Olympic Marathon trails.  Three months later she won the Gold in the first Woman’s Olympic Marathon.

2000 Boston Marathon- closest men marathon finish

Three men rounded the final turn together onto Boylston Street.   Kenyan Elijah Lagat sprinted to the line beating Moses Tanui and Ethiopian Gezahenge Abera. Lagat and Abera were credited with the same finishing time (2:09:47), marking the closest 1-2 finish in race history. Tanui finished three seconds back (2:09:50), to mark the closest finish between the first three.

2009 Boston Marathon- closest woman’s marathon finish

Salina Kosgei, Dire Tune and American Kara Goucher battled down Boylston Street to the closest finish in Boston Marathon history.   Kosgei (2:32:16) edged Tune by one second. Tune collapsed at the line and was transported to a local hospital, but rebounded quickly enough to appear at the 5 p.m. awards ceremony.  Kara Goucher finished in 2:32:25.

1978- 1988 New York City Marathon

Grete Waitz was considering retiring, her husband convinced her to try running a marathon. Waitz was reluctant at first, but eventually called the New York City Road Runners Club to get an invitation to run the event. She was turned down. Although she was a champion, she had never run the 26.2-mile distance. Waitz was disappointed, mainly because she and her husband were hoping to have a vacation in New York but could not afford to go unless the club sponsored them. Fred Lebow, president of the club, called and suggested that she run as a “rabbit,” setting a fast pace for the elite women. She would not be expected to run fast for the entire distance, but only for a portion of the course. The farthest Waitz had ever run was 12 miles.  By the 19th mile, she began to tire, and she had lost track of how much farther she had to run because she was used to reading distances in kilometers, not miles. She won. She had registered so late that her bib number was not listed in the official guide to the runners, and no one knew who she was. When Fred Lebow asked who had won, all anyone could tell him was “Some blond girl.” She had no idea that she had won. In addition, she had set a new women’s world record with a time of 2:32.30, two minutes faster than the old record.

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