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  • What's your top 10?

    Okay, it's time for everyone to cough up their top 10. Whether it's your favorite ten athletes all time, the ten most memorable track happenings you've seen on TV, your top ten gripes with our sport; whatever. Yours need not be as long as mine.

    Here's my 10 favorite distance runners.

    1. Paul Tergat—Major bad ass. I've got a soft spot for cross country specialists, as you'll see. But Tergat was also amazing on the track and roads and is now finally showing his stuff over the marathon. His 10K WR in Brussels '97 was one of the most beautiful things I ever saw. Doesn't hurt that he came to my brother's wedding.

    2. Pat Porter—Was my idol in middle and high school. The greatest American cross country runner ever (I know, Virgin won Worlds twice). Also made 2 Olympic teams. Skinny as hell. Saw him win the '86 nationals in Golden Gate Park when I was 12.

    3. Carlos Lopes—Another great cross runner, but was also a bad ass over the marathon (obviously) and track. I had no speed so I liked guys who were tough and got outkicked. Was injured for years but stuck it out and came back even better. Very inspirational.

    4. Salvatore Antibo—A Sicilian with big hair and gold chains/bracelets who looked more to the Africans for inspiration than other Italians. Wore some cool ass Diadoras. Also skinny as hell. A bit of a nutter; never put it together in the big meets after his '88 silver, but his Euro double in '90 was pretty cool. I loved the photo from the T&FN rankings of that year with the Italians carrying him around the track.

    5. Ismael Kirui—His gutsy front-running win in the '93 5000 was the greatest race I've ever seen. The '95 surprise win where he deceptively increased the pace over the final laps was a work of art. Won my hometown Bay to Breakers 3 times. Would've placed higher on this list but once wore biker shorts at the DN Galan.

    6. Nick Rose—The Pistol from Bristol. A gutsy, hard-drinking front-runner who was never scared to race, whether it was cross, indoors, the roads or on the track. In the Western Kentucky media guide he listed his hobbies as "Partying and music." Great hair. He and his Hilltopper teammates looked more like a rock band than a cross team.

    7. Geb—Should be higher, but he was Tergat's nemesis, so he gets shafted.

    8. Sergey Lebed—Another cross specialist. The only non African-born runner to place as high as 2nd in the World Cross since '89 (’01). Speaks Italian with a great Ukrainian accent.

    9. Richard Chelimo—Brother of Kirui. Another tough SOB. When I saw him break the 10K WR in '93in Stockholm I cried.

    10. Anders Gärderud—I'm half Swedish so I had to get him in here. Was criticized for never putting it together in the big race, but finally silenced everyone with his WR win in Montreal. Chuckled in Edmonton when I pointed out to him that he was still the Canadian steeple all-comers record holder.

  • #2
    Re: What's your top 10?

    Billy and Salazar would have to be in my top ten. Billy because of his NY and Boston wins and Salazar for damn near dying a couple of times laying it down. I think Billy is out of his cast by now. I wonder how he is doing. Broken bones at his age got to be tough.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's your top 10?

      Here goes my list of top 10 favorite US marathoners (mostly last 30 yrs with a few old-timers thrown in)

      1) Frank Shorter - What competitiveness and drive! People talk about Pre's competitiveness/balls but he had nothing on Shorter. (Bold move in early in the 1972 Oly race!) Also a class act and stellar statesman.

      2) Joan Benoit Samuelson - Dominated the Oly premire of the woman's marathon shortly after knee surgery and against a stellar field of woman greats. Talk about a clutch performance. And one of the best people you could want to meet.

      3) Tarzan Brown - winner of one of the boston marathon in the early 1900's. Only known training was getting in bar fights. Was caught by J. kelly late in the race one year after his substainly lead had evaporated and as Kelly passed him he patted him on the back and told him nice effort. Tarzan looked at him, laughed and sprinted ahead to a comfortable win. Tried that training method myself in college but never had much luck at it helping my running. Gotta love the tough guy attitide though.

      4) Don Kargdon - Four reasons why I like Don so much, he was a great runner with alot of heart, he is a entertaining writer (and funny too), he once ran a 50 mile Ultra marathon and he loves Fruit Loops. What a guy!

      5) Patti Catalano - Very tough lady. Was always in the mix in the late 70's and early 80's against Grete and Joan and always was the picture of work ethic. Loved to watch her run, always gave it her all.

      6) John Kelly - 90 billion Boston Marathons and every one of them with a huge smile on his face. He loved running and that race so much it made you love it too.

      7) Craig Virgin - Very nice down to earth kind of guy and had one of the best marathon duels in memory against Seko at Boston. I had the priviledge of finishing second to him in a 10k Road Race in Memphis and he was very friendly and supportive. Great embassador for the sport and tough as nails in a race!

      8) Gary Bjorkland - Tough Minnesotan who pushed Rodgers to his limit on several occassions. Very determined runner and stayed very active in the sport over the years. I remember ready his training logs in a book when I was a young runner and beneifted greatly from trying to duplicate his planning and consistancy.

      9) Bill Rodgers. Has arguably done more for the sport in the US than anyone. Bill was the face of US running for about 6 years. Remains very active in the sport. You gotta love some one who wins the Boston Marathon with a home-made lettered t-shirt on (1975).

      10) Alberto Salazar - Two reason he made my list - 1980 - 1982 he was the toughest marathoner on the planet. A mental giant when it came to pushing himself. and 2 - He won the Comrades Ultra-marathon back in 199x. i have a soft spot for Ultra-runners.

      Honorable mention: Tony Sandoval - The skinniest world class athlete in record (next to Suleiman Nyambui) and one heck of a nice guy.

      All of course in my humble opinion.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's your top 10?

        I think Pre definitely suffers from over-exposure, hype, and cult of personality, but if you just look at his running (not necessarily the accomplishments), you wouldn't even put him in the top 10? I like Dixon and Coghlan for their attitudes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What's your top 10?

          My top ten relay races of all time:

          1)1972 Munich men's 4x400 & 1952(didn't see it)Helsinki 4x400
          3)1997 Athens men's 4x400
          4)1988 Seoul women's 4x400
          5)1991 Tokyo men's 4x400
          6)1996 Atlanta men's 4x100
          7)1996 Atlanta women's 4x400
          8)2003 Paris men's 4x400
          9)1996 Atlanta women's 4x100
          10)1964(didn't see it) Tokyo men's 4x100

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What's your top 10?

            My top 10 (100m) men of all time
            1)Bob Hayes
            2)Jim Hines
            3)Carl Lewis
            4)Maurice Greene
            5)Donovan Bailey
            6)Jesse Owens
            7)Ato Boldon
            8)Bobby Morrow
            9)Charlie Greene
            10)Calvin Smith

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What's your top 10?

              My top 10 men 200m

              1)Michael Johnson
              2)Tommie Smith
              3)Don Quarrie
              4)John Carlos
              5)Pietro Mennea
              6)Henry Carr
              7)Frankie Fredericks
              8)Ato Boldon
              9)Calvin Smith
              10)Kostas Kederis

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's your top 10?

                decathletes: l.Thompson 2.O'Brien 3t.Dvorak,Sebrle 5.Hingsen 6t.Jenner,Avilov, R.Johnson, Thorpe 10.Mathias (I know.. not enough respect for oldtimers..) 10 'greatest' decathlons: 1t. '12,'60,'84 OlyG 4t.'68,72,76OG,'83WCh 8.'01 Gotzis 9.'82EurCh
                10t.'32,36,48,52,96 OG,'63MSACR,'91TAC,92Talence.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's your top 10?

                  10 reasons or things that make me love T&F, in no particular order:

                  1. its diversity in athletes; skinny sprinters and bulky weightmen all on one team cheering for each other
                  2. Memories of great indoor Millrose and AAU meets at the OLD Madison Square Garden; the tobacco odor, the tuxedos, the live band, the descending lap counter #'s, etc.....

                  3. the elemental simplicity of it all; he can go from point a to point b the fastest, who can throw/jump themselves or this hunk of metal the farthest/highest

                  4. great personal memories of personal wins/losses/camaraderie

                  5. the fun of perusing old issues of Track & Field News

                  6. goofing off at work on the T&FN Message Board instead of working

                  7. looking forward to the WC's and OG's year to year

                  8. feeling better about myself every time I go out and run

                  9. meeting and talking to famous T & F athletes on occasions and seeing that they're just good people like the rest of us

                  10. The whole Track & Field scene... no other sport remotely like it. Way cool. Loved it from the first exposure at '56 Millrose, until this minute, typing this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's your top 10?

                    1. Sebastian Coe: class act, dramatic career (the comeback after the 800 debacle in Moscow, the comeback to win in 1984, the final effort at age 32)
                    2. Herb Elliott: enigmatic, the whole Cerrutty/Portsea down-under thing, the pre-professionalist who walked away
                    3. Lasse Viren: 5&10 twice? come on --
                    4. Haile G.: took it to a new level, with a smile
                    5. Zatopek: the sheer effort
                    6. Nurmi: the Babe Ruth of the sport
                    7. Pre: for being American, and if he finished 4th at 21, who really knows what he would have done.
                    8. Ryun: the natural wonder
                    9. Walker: the hippie-look and long career
                    10. Abebe Bikila: the first African, the tragic end

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What's your top 10?

                      Top 10 Javelin throwers (post WW 2):

                      1.Zelezny
                      2.J.Lusis
                      3.Sidlo
                      4.Hohn (suspect..)
                      5.Nemeth
                      6.Held (innovator)
                      7.Backley (unlucky to be Zelezny's contemporary)
                      8.Danielsen
                      9.Tsibulenko
                      10.Wolfermann
                      sorry. no Finns...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What's your top 10?

                        My favorite distance runners:
                        1) Alberto Cova 83 WC 84 OC
                        2) Gelindo Bordin 88 OC
                        3) Francesco Panetta 87 WC
                        4) Salvatore Antibo 90 double EC
                        5) Alessandro Lambruschini 94 EC
                        6) Stefano Baldini 98 EC
                        7) Stefano Mei 86 EC
                        8) Mariano Scartezzini the best steeplc. in the 70
                        9) Orlando Pizzolato 2 time NY winner
                        10)Haile Gebreselassie (just for a touch of internationality)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's your top 10?

                          Top 10 nicknames
                          1. Skeets
                          2. Bones
                          3. Bullet
                          4. Jet Gear
                          5. The Black Gazelle
                          6. Texas Tornado
                          7. Kansas Cannonball
                          8.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What's your top 10?

                            Hmm - posting issues - name 3 more and identify the ones above.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's your top 10?

                              1. Nehemiah
                              3. Bob Hayes
                              7. Mo Greene

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