My Running Idols in the ’80s

Aside from Waldemar Cierpinski whom I featured in one of my postings, I would like also to feature my “running idols” in the ’80s until such time when I reduced my regular practice runs in the ’90s. These “champions” motivated me to be serious in running and ultimately, inspired me to run more marathon races in the ’80s and later part of the ’90s. These running idols were the “items and personalities” to read in the Runners World Magazine  and other runners’ magazines then and most readers sometimes try to emulate and copy their training programs. I was one of them!


Bill Rodgers (Race # 1) of USA won the Boston Marathon for four times (1980, 1979, 1978, 1975); won the New York Marathon for four times (1979, 1978, 1977, 1976); and won the Fukuoka Marathon once (1977). 


Toshihiko Seko of Japan won the Fukuoka Marathon for four times (1983, 1980, 1979, 1978); won the Boston Marathon two times (1981, 1987); and other prestigious marathon races in Japan & Europe.


Rob de Castella of Australia won the Marathon in the Commonwealth Games twice (1982 & 1986); won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1981; won the Rotterdam Marathon twice (1983 & 1991); won the World Championship Marathon in 1983; and the Boston Marathon in 1986.


Alberto Salazar was born in Cuba but later migrated to the USA with his family. He won the New York City Marathon for three times (1980, 1981, 1982) and won the Boston Marathon in 1982. He suffered a heart attact last June 30, 2007.


Steve Jones is a Welshman who won the Chicago Marathon for two times (1985, 1984); won the London Marathon in 1985; and later won the New York City Marathon in 1988.


Rod Dixon of New Zealand had been the Bronze Medalist in the 1972 Munich Olympics for the 1,500-meter distance. He also won the New York City Marathon in 1983. He was a distinct runner then with his all-black running attire (official color of New Zealand uniform) and mustache in his running pictures. He now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

These “marathoners” were featured in the cover pages of running magazines in the ’80s and it was nice reading articles how they won in their respective marathon races by writers who were also runners. Nowadays, seldom you could see marathon champions featured in the cover pages of popular running magazines in publication. Most of these magazines are already fond of featuring beautiful lady runners who are are not yet champions!

I wonder when will they (runners magazines) feature the top Kenyans, Ethiopians, African, European…and Asian “elite/champion” runners in their special stories and cover pages?