A true five-borough episode! The New York City Marathon hosts thousands of runners from all over the world, the dream project of the New York Road Runners and in particular one Fred Lebow, an employee of the Fashion District turned athletic icon. Find out how he launched a massive race in the midst of bankrupt New York.
Also — our guest host Tanya Bielski-Braham takes us on a speedy tour of the course, from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Tavern on the Green.
Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services.
One of the marathon’s true superstars, Bill Rodgers (that’s him wearing number 3) won the marathon the first four years of its existence as a tri-borough event, from 1976-79. In 1980, he placed 5th, handing the mantle to rising star Alberto Salazar.
A clearly pained Salazar fights his way to the finish line during the 1981 race, on his way to setting a world’s record.
Sure, Salazar’s good, but his co-winner in 1980, Grete Waitz, would be the all-time New York City Marathon champ, winning nine times. (Pic courtesy Sports Illustrated.)
A few months after giving birth, British runner Paula Radcliffe ran away with the victory at last year’s race. (Courtesy Ed Costello Flickr)
Paula with the men’s winner Martin Lel from Kenya (Pic courtesy iaff.org)
Go to the New York Road Runners website for information on this Sunday’s race, including places to watch it from the sidelines.
I highly recommend two recent releases about the marathon: the book “A Race Like No Other” by Liz Robbins, a great profile on the 2007 race with lots of history nuggets thrown in; and the new documentary Run For Your Life about Fred Lebow, new to DVD this week. You seriously have to check out all the great footage from the 1970s, particularly the shots of the Playboy Bunnies posing for pictures for the 1972 “Crazylegs” race.