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Some comments from Bill about his 1975 Marathon Breakthrough

From: Marathoning by Bill Rodgers with Joe Concannon

Pg. 72-75

I had been training twice a day since the end of 1973 and when April 1975 and the Boston Marathon rolled around I was in "pretty decent" shape.

Squires and I tried to play down my position. We talked it over and we thought I would run about a 2:15 or 2:16 marathon. We never anticipated a 2:09:55.

The only way I can describe it is dreamlike. I thought of my friends and particularly of former college roommate, Amby Burfoot, who had won in 1968. It was just unreal running to that finish line. I looked at the crowds on the side and reveled in my victory. But on the victory stand, I suffered something of a reaction. As the wreath was put on my head my brother, Charlie, jumped up shouting. I waved to him and yelled "never again."

I was very tired and psychologically wound down. Marathons are, like any race , a great thrill to win, but unlike shorter races, the price one pays is severe.

There are a lot of variables that enable you to excel, to win races and do well. I want to make one thing clear, I have my own feelings about technique and running form. I am not a physiologist. I am not a cardiologist. I am a runner. Yet I still feel my thoughts are just as valid as anybodyís in the biomechanics lab, or any cardiologist from a top hospital.

I know few coaches who have raced the marathon well and therefore have the experience to coach the event.

I am the one whoís out there and Iíve learned through doing.

Click here for the Letter from "Pre" with details of how Bill got his shoes for the Boston Marathon because Steve Prefontaine was so impressed with his 3rd place finish in the World Cross Country Championships in Morocco.


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