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Running Legends

(Jul 28, 1958 - Jun 28, 1981) 

Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Fox hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's 24 million people. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name. (Wikipedia)

(Jan 25, 1951 - May 30, 1975) 

American middle and long-distance runner, Prefontaine once held the American record in the seven distance track events from the 2,000 meters to the 10,000 meters. Prefontaine died at the age of 24 in a car accident.  
Over his career, he won 120 of the 153 races he ran (78 percent), and never lost a collegiate (NCAA) race at the University of Oregon. 
"Pre" liked to say, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." (Wikipedia)
"Could not stop thinking about Pre  when racing in Eugene, OR in May this year" by RPG

Joan Benoit Samuelson 

(born May 16, 1957)

American marathon runner who won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the year that the women's marathon was introduced. As a result she was the first ever women's Olympic marathon champion. Benoit Samuelson still holds the fastest times for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic Marathon. Her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years.

Emil Zatopek
(Sep 19, 1922 – Nov 22, 2000)

Czech long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He won gold in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the first marathon of his life. He was nicknamed the "Czech Locomotive" for his multiple golds.  He is widely considered to be one of the greatest runners of the 20th century and was also known for his brutally tough training methods. (Wikipedia) 

"Zatopek once said: I already  know how to run slow, I must learn to run fast by practicing to run fast!" by RPG

Abebe Bikila
(Aug 7, 1932 – Oct 25, 1973)

Two-time Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia. Won gold medal in 1960 in Rome running barefoot in world record time 2:15:16. Four years later in Tokyo won his second gold in another world record time 2:12:12. (RPG)

Grete Waitz 

(Oct 1, 1953 – Apr 19, 2011)

Norwegian marathon runner and former world record holder. Waitz won nine New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988, more than any other runner in history. She also won a silver medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki. Wikipedia

Paula Radcliffe 

(born 17 December 1973)

An English long-distance runner, Paula Radcliffe is the current world record holder for the women's marathon, which she set during the 2003 London Marathon in April, with a time of 2:15:25. This mark is currently one of the highest scoring performances ever. In terms of IAAF world ranking points, at 1307, it is higher in value than Florence Griffith-Joyner's 100 and 200 m records, Marita Koch's 400 m, and Michael Johnson's 400 m record.
Radcliffe is also the current world record holder for the women's road 10k in a time of 30 minutes and 21 seconds, which she set on 23 February 2003 in the World's Best 10K in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Radcliffe won the 2004 New York City Marathon in a time of 2:23:10, beating Kenya's Susan Chepkemei. Of the seven marathons Radcliffe has run so far, she has won six and set a record in five. She has run four out of the five fastest times in history in the women's marathon. Wikipedia

Haile Gebrselassie 

(born 18 April 1973)

An Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 meters and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon. Further to this, he won four world titles indoors and was the 2001 World Half Marathon Champion. Gebrselassie had major competition wins at distances between 1500 meters and the marathon, moving from outdoor, indoor and cross country running to road running in the latter part of his career. He broke 61 Ethiopian National Records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history. Wikipedia

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