BILL RODGERS 1973/1974 LOGS

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Intro by Bob Hodge

In 1973 Bill Rodgers began his quest to become the best athlete he could be and his pursuit would be long distance running, including marathoning, and especially the holy grail, Boston.

Bill had a successful and rewarding high school and college running experience with some real success. Mostly he learned to love running and racing.

He could have given up running after college, most athletes do, but something drew him back. In the turmoil of the late 60s, up against the draft Bill floundered a bit and running helped him overcome the confusion.

Of course, rooming with a Boston Marathon champion in college and experiencing the work ethic and dedication of the "brose" had a strong influence. Another influence, more indirect, was John J. Kelley another Boston winner and mentor for Amby. There was some tradition to uphold and as unlikely as it seemed for a time, Bill would find and stake out a huge part of this tradition.

With the aid of the Greater Boston TC, Coach Bill Squires and his Greater Boston teammates Bill began to hone his skills after previously developing a large base of running mileage mostly on his own prior to joining the club founded by Boston College Coach Jack McDonald.

We will be presenting as much of the BR day to day as Bill will allow from January of 1973 until at least the mid 80s. It will be presented a year at a time in serial style, just the way Bill recorded it. Why?

It will be a historical archive of sorts preserving an important part of the record useful for athletes to see the patterns and developments of preparation for long distance running success.

We will provide links to material that will elucidate and give context without intruding on the original log entries. Bill is highly accessible to fellow runners and is still on the road at many events. Runners with questions for Bill can contact him via email at his website:

http://www.billrodgersrunningcenter.com or perhaps meet him at an event.

Webmaster Gary Wallace first met Bill in 1977 at the newly opened Bill Rodgers Running Center. This was Garys first stop when he moved to Boston. Going back to 73, Gary was actually at the 1973 Boston Marathon, finishing 50th and the 1973 Gloucester 20K championship (won by Bill in 63:58) finishing 16th.

I ran against Bill in the Manchester Road race (Nov. 22nd, 73 finishing 1 second back in 6th; I met Bill in 1974 on a training run at Jamaica Pond with Vin Fleming, a friend and running partner to myself and Rodgers and a fellow resident of Jamaica Plain Boston. (See pic on 1973 Races page)

Bill has ran  1000's of laps on the 1.5 mile loop around Jamaica Pond. Links to Jamaica Pond:
http://www.jamaicapond.com/  |  http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=42.31767,-71.118922&spn=0.007536,0.016

Our running careers would intersect many times over the coming years and we are all still hitting the trails, roads and tracks though not as far, fast or often as we once did..

Links to readings/bios about Bill:
1979 Interview in Boston Magazine  by Peter Ross Range (3.53 mb pdf file)
Boston Marathon  by Tom Derderian
Marathoning  by Bill Rodgers/Joe Concannon
Running with the Legends  by Michael Sandrock (can be previewed for excerpts)
Rebel With a Cause  excerpt from First Marathons by Gail Kislevitz


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