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  • The amazing Frank Shorter...

    Frank Shorter's most impressive run away victory may not be the Munich '72 marathon gold. I saw him run a stunning last half-mile (1:57.2) to handily defeat Rod Dixon in the San Diego Jack-in-the-Box indoor 2-mile in 1977. I believe the time was 8:27.1. Shorter had much better speed than most people realize...especially for a marathoner!

  • #2
    Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

    << Shorter had much better speed than most people
    >realize...especially for a marathoner!>>

    Look at it from the other way round: Shorter (and Moore and Kardong, et al) has first-rate track credentials before they turned to the marathon. We're getting guys like Meb and Culpepper now, but we went awhile when we didn't have the better track people seriously moving to the M.

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    • #3
      Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

      Ooooh - I smell another 100+ post thread about Webb coming . . . C'mon, he could DO it.

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      • #4
        Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

        >Ooooh - I smell another 100+ post thread about Webb coming . . . C'mon, he could DO it.<

        Yeah, he probably could . . . .but Gabe is more likely to. :-)

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        • #5
          Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

          We missed a decade and a half without top notch track guys moving up to the Marthon in the US.

          I was waiting for years for Mark Nenow, Todd Williams and Bob Kennedy to make a serious effort at the marathon in the fall after a strong track season. It never seriously happened.

          Not all 5k/10k guys make good marathoners but many more who would have never try.

          Carlos Lopez, who was a great 5k/10k track guy, wasn't very good in his first marathon or two (Salazar and Gomez dropped him like a bad habit in NYC in his first or second attempt). But he learned from each race and got better and finally got his Oly Gold.

          As far as Shorter goes: Truely amazing range. In the US only Pre could consistently beat him at 5k and even then they had a hell of a race. Not until Virgin could any American handle him at 10k and from 1970 - 1976 no-one in the World could handle him in the Marathon (except in a druggie in the 76 Olympics when Frank was also injured.)

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          • #6
            Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

            gh and 5K guy, A point well taken...our best marathoners have usually come from track men who had excellent 5K, 10K credentials. It would have been fun to see what Pre could have done....

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            • #7
              Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

              Carlos Lopez, who was a
              >great 5k/10k track guy, wasn't very good in his first marathon or two (Salazar
              >and Gomez dropped him like a bad habit in NYC in his first or second attempt).
              >But he learned from each race and got better and finally got his Oly
              >Gold.

              John Treacy sure moved up smoothly.

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              • #8
                Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                As did Craig Virgin (at least for one race). Ed Eyestone had some success but never made it all the way to the top (of the world) on the track or the marathon althoigh was very respectable at both.

                Not many American examples during the past decade until Meb/Culpepper.

                Likley Williams and Kennedy have missed their chances. (Kennedy may still have a year to two).

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                • #9
                  Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                  I am completely biased as I am/was a very good friend of Paul Cummings - had he not had untimely and numerous misfortune I would think he would have improved on his 10k and marathon PRs. And he had range too! venture to say a bit better international presence too. but props to Frank.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                    I believe you are absolutely correct about Paul Cummings. My error to over look him. And yes, he has/had amazing range and potential.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                      Not American but look at Rod Dixon's range.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                        >I am completely biased as I am/was a very good friend of Paul Cummings - had he
                        >not had untimely and numerous misfortune I would think he would have improved
                        >on his 10k and marathon PRs. And he had range too! venture to say a bit better
                        >international presence too. but props to Frank.

                        My recollection is not good on this, but I remember having high hopes for Cummings in '84. I seem to recall he vastly overraced himself in the lead-up to the games, effectively leaving whatever chance he had do well at the Olympics at those races. Is my memory all wrong here?

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                        • #13
                          Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                          ... not really your memory, I don't think. He was well prepared for Oly 84 - he was convinced a medal was well within reach. His training indicated that and even more. The Oly trials were relatively slow - but he won - destroying the field with a blistering last lap. I've seen the video and he was jogging - holding himself back. I think the time was 27:55 - 28:00 or so.

                          I'm not sure who is aware - but he had fairly regular but unpredictable allergy problems/reactions. Guess when that reared its ugly head. Paul battled some form or another of health related problems much of his career - still managed to accomplish much. Part of the landscape for some I'm sure (fill in names here __________ )

                          Hindsight and 'what ifs' - but I was convinced he was even better than 'a medal'. But ... I do know there was some public (and distance personalities) opinion that he over-raced - wasn't the case - Paul was well aware of the importance of Oly games. And he was in 'that' (mental) zone as well. Not to be ...

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                          • #14
                            Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                            >... not really your memory, I don't think. He was well prepared for Oly 84 -
                            >he was convinced a medal was well within reach. His training indicated that
                            >and even more. The Oly trials were relatively slow - but he won - destroying
                            >the field with a blistering last lap. I've seen the video and he was jogging -
                            >holding himself back. I think the time was 27:55 - 28:00 or so.

                            I'm not
                            >sure who is aware - but he had fairly regular but unpredictable allergy
                            >problems/reactions. Guess when that reared its ugly head. Paul battled some
                            >form or another of health related problems much of his career - still managed
                            >to accomplish much. Part of the landscape for some I'm sure (fill in names
                            >here __________ )

                            Hindsight and 'what ifs' - but I was convinced he was even
                            >better than 'a medal'. But ... I do know there was some public (and distance
                            >personalities) opinion that he over-raced - wasn't the case - Paul was well
                            >aware of the importance of Oly games. And he was in 'that' (mental) zone as
                            >well. Not to be ...

                            Then why DID he race something like 11 times between the Trials and the Games?

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                            • #15
                              Re: The amazing Frank Shorter...

                              .. guess u need some context - not enough time or interest on my side to explain -- my (somewhat experienced) knowledge - he knew what HIS preparation needed to be.

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