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Most courageous distance running efforts.

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  • Most courageous distance running efforts.

    Share your opinion re: courageous distance running efforts. Here's a few that forever impressed me:

    1. Murray Halberg breaking away from the pack in the OG 5000m (1960, Rome) with three laps to go, building a big lead and hanging on for the gold.
    2. Tom Courtney coming back right at the end of the '56 OG 800m after being passed by Johnson of GB,he waa beaten, but found a way to win in the final few strides. Guts!
    3. Gerry Lindgren breaking away from the veteran Russians as an 18 year old in the USA Vs. Russia dual 10,000m. He led for the final 10 laps for a shocking and convincing victory.
    4. Tracy Smith doing the same thing Murray Halberg did (above) but in the FOT 10,000m
    --bravely surging ahead with 3 laps to go and holding on to win.
    5. Paul Cummings winning the 1974 NCAA mile by breaking away in the third lap in 90 plus degree humid Texas heat.

  • #2
    Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

    Alberto-Falmouth/78-'nuff said.

    "On one defining race in his career: "One would be a race I didn't win. I actually got tenth at the Falmouth Road Race in '78. I made a vow after finishing a disappointing sixth place in the NCAA (Cross-Country) Championships as a sophomore that I would never let anybody break away from me again. I ended up at Falmouth stuck on Bill Rodgers for six of seven miles and ended up collapsing with heat problems, getting the last rites, being packed in ice. A lot of people asked, 'well, are you going to be scared to push yourself again?' I wasn't. What happened was I finally said to myself, 'that's how hard you can push yourself if you're tough enough.' That fall, I broke through tremendously. It was completely from that race. I won the NCAA Championship and continued to improve. So that was a turning point for me in my career. It just made me mentally tougher.""

    http://www.runnersworld.com/home/0,1300 ... 76,00.html

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    • #3
      Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

      Steve Jones in the '85 Chicago marathon. He blasted away and ran as fast as he could for as long as he could. Went thru the halfway mark in something like 1:01:40...and finished in 2:07:13. A gutsy, heroic performance.

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      • #4
        Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

        I agree with kuha1. I was there at that race and still believe that it is still the greatest road running performance ever. On his own after 2 miles on a flat course with splits that are still unmatched today: 10 miles 47:01, half 1:01:42 (when the american record at the time was 1:01:47)and 20 miles in 1:35:22. According to Jones he probably would have run faster than 2:07, if he had a clock in front of him.

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        • #5
          Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

          How are you going to beat the lady with cerebral palsy (I think it was that - she could barely walk, much less run) who finished the NYC Marathon in 30 hours? Or the cross country runner in SI a few weeks back, who has so little leg strength, he is constantly falling? Guts is NOT having the talent to win (or show or place or even be mid-pack), but competing to the maximum extent anyway.

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          • #6
            Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

            With all due respect, I disagree. What you're describing falls outside the "sports" category. It may well be a "higher" category, but it's something else entirely...

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            • #7
              Re: Most courageous distance running efforts.

              I sort of agree, but are YOU going to tell these two that they aren't 'athletes' and what they did was not an athletic accomplishment?

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              • #8
                Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                Without a doubt.....I remember what Halberg said about it in his biography and the pictures and story about it in Norman Giller's book "The Marathon"...and what Jim said about it himself in his biography "In the Long Run"....incredible inspiring story and tragic...

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                • #9
                  Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                  Even though Joan Benoit Samuelson's '84 L.A. OG marathon run away showed her guts and gumption (has anyone ever taken the lead that early in an OG marathon and gone on to win?) her most courageous effort may have been in the OG trials when she competed just 17 days after having her knee "scoped".

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                  • #10
                    Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                    >Even though Joan Benoit Samuelson's '84 L.A. OG
                    >marathon run away showed her guts and gumption
                    >(has anyone ever taken the lead that early in an
                    >OG marathon and gone on to win?) her most
                    >courageous effort may have been in the OG trials
                    >when she competed just 17 days after having her
                    >knee "scoped".

                    Said the same thing under the most stunning thread.

                    http://trackandfieldnews.com/tfn/discus ... ssage=2284

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                      >>Even though Joan Benoit Samuelson's '84 L.A.
                      >OG
                      >marathon run away showed her guts and
                      >gumption
                      >(has anyone ever taken the lead that
                      >early in an
                      >OG marathon and gone on to win?)
                      >her most
                      >courageous effort may have been in the
                      >OG trials
                      >when she competed just 17 days after
                      >having her
                      >knee "scoped".

                      Said the same
                      >thing under the most stunning
                      >thread.
                      You're right, but MJD said it, not me.
                      http://trackandfieldnews.com/tfn/discus
                      >ion/viewThread.jsp?forum=5&thread=254&message=2284
                      >n

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                      • #12
                        Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                        After reading the post about Jim Peters in the "Best Marathoners" thread this morning, there's no doubt in my mind that he closes out this category. End of discussion.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                          Jim Ryun's 72 Olympic 1500 after he fell down. Knowing he was out of it, he ran hard to the finish anyway.

                          Who was the guy in th 96 Olympic Trials of the Marathon who kept losing his cookies during the race and he still won. That was incredible I thought (personally I would have stayed in bed).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                            >Who was the guy in th 96
                            >Olympic Trials of the Marathon who kept losing
                            >his cookies during the race and he still won.
                            >That was incredible I thought (personally I
                            >I would have stayed in bed).

                            http://www.usatf.org/athletes/bios/oldB ... painen.htm

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                            • #15
                              Re: Jim Peters Marathon-Empire Games August 1954

                              Thanks for the info. A competitor with Bob Kempainin's abilty should't be known just for spilling his guts in an important race. He obviously has had a respectable career and his overall merits should be noted. However, their's no denying that Kempainin's 96 Olympic Trials effort was as courageous as they get.

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