Bill Rodgers (runner)

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Bill Rodgers
Bill Rodgers 1977.jpg
Bill Rodgers at the Amsterdam Marathon in 1977
Personal information
Full name William Henry Rodgers
Born (1947-12-23) December 23, 1947 (age 66)
Hartford, Connecticut, US
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 59 kg (130 lb)
Sport
Sport Long-distance running
Club Greater Boston Track Club[1]

William Henry "Bill" Rodgers (born December 23, 1947) is an American runner and former American record holder in the marathon who is best known for his four victories in the Boston Marathon, including three straight 1978-1980 and the New York City Marathon between 1976 and 1980.

Biography[edit]

Rodgers won both races four times each between 1975 and 1980, twice breaking the American record at Boston with a time of 2:09:55 in 1975 and a 2:09:27 in 1979. In 1977 he won the Fukuoka Marathon, making him the only runner ever to hold the championship of all three major marathons at the same time. He made the 1976 U.S. Olympic team and raced the marathon at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, finishing 40th. He did not participate in the Olympics in 1980 due to the U.S. boycott over the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR.[1] Rodgers is also the last U.S.-born winner in the men's or women's open divisions of the New York City Marathon to date; the two subsequent American winners were born in Cuba (Alberto Salazar) and Eritrea (Meb Keflezighi).

In 1975 Rodgers won the bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, equaling Tracy Smith's 1966 bronze in the International Cross Country Championships as the highest an American had ever finished in international cross country competition. Rodgers' most remarkable year on the road racing circuit came in 1978 when he won 27 of the 30 races he entered, including the Pepsi 10 km nationals (with a new world road 10 km best time of 28:36.3), the Falmouth Road Race, and the Boston & New York marathons. Rodgers is also the former world record holder for 25 kilometers as he broke Pekka Päivärinta's world record with a time of 1:14.11.8 on a track at West Valley College in Saratoga, California in 1979.[1]

Track & Field News ranked Rodgers #1 in the world in the marathon in 1975, 1977 and 1979.[1] Of the 59 marathons Rodgers ran, 28 were run under 2:15. In all he won 22 marathons in his career. He came to be referred to by sportswriters and others as "Boston Billy".[2]

Rodgers received his B.A. in sociology from Wesleyan University. One of his teammates, Amby Burfoot, won the Boston Marathon while still a student and went on to edit Runner's World magazine. Rodgers also has an MS in special education from Boston College.

Rodgers was inducted on December 3, 1999, in Los Angeles, California to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1998, Rodgers was inducted in the first round to the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, New York.

Bill Rodgers Running Center in Faneuil Hall Market Place in Boston, Massachusetts was owned and operated by Bill and his brother Charlie. The family-run business operated from 1977 to 2013.[3] He currently lives in the small town of Sherborn, Massachusetts and still participates in running-themed events.

Marathons[edit]

  1. 1973 Boston Marathon (Did not Finish)(DNF)
  2. 1973 Bay State Marathon (2:28:12) 1st Course Record (CR)
  3. 1974 Boston (2:19:34) 14th
  4. 1974 New York City Marathon (NYC) (2:36:00) 5th
  5. 1974 Philadelphia Marathon (2:21:57) 1st CR
  6. 1975 Boston (2:09:55) 1st American Record (AR)
  7. 1975 Enschede Marathon, Holland (DNF)
  8. 1975 Fukuoka Marathon (2:11:26) 3rd
  9. 1976 Olympic Trials (2:11:58) 2nd
  10. 1976 Montreal Olympics (2:25:14) 40th
  11. 1976 NYC (2:10:10) 1st CR
  12. 1976 Sedo Island, Japan (2:08:23) 1st CR (200 meters short)
  13. 1976 Maryland (2:14:28) 1st CR
  14. 1977 Kyoto, Japan (2:14:25) 1st
  15. 1977 Boston (DNF)
  16. 1977 Amsterdam, Holland (2:12:46) 1st CR
  17. 1977 Waynesboro (2:25:12) 1st
  18. 1977 NYC (2:11:28) 1st
  19. 1977 Fukuoka (2:10:55) 1st
  20. 1978 Boston (2:10:13) 1st
  21. 1978 NYC (2:12:12) 1st
  22. 1978 Fukuoka (2:12:53) 6th
  23. 1979 Boston (2:09:27) 1st AR
  24. 1979 Montreal (2:22:12) 15th
  25. 1979 NYC (2:11:42) 1st
  26. 1980 Boston (2:12:11) 1st
  27. 1980 Toronto (2:14:47) 1st
  28. 1980 NYC (2:13:20) 5th
  29. 1981 Houston-Tennaco (2:12:10) 1st CR
  30. 1981 Boston (2:10:34) 3rd
  31. 1981 Atlantica-Boavista, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2:14:13) 1st CR
  32. 1981 Stockholm, Sweden (2:13:28) 1st
  33. 1981 Bank One, Columbus, OH (2:17:34) 7th
  34. 1982 Houston (2:14:51) 5th
  35. 1982 Tokyo (2:24) 301st
  36. 1982 Boston (2:12:38) 4th
  37. 1982 Atlantica-Boavista, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (DNF)
  38. 1982 Melbourne, Australia (2:11:08) 1st
  39. 1983 Orange Bowl, FL (2:15:08) 1st
  40. 1983 Boston (2:11:58) 10th
  41. 1983 Beijing, China (DNF)
  42. 1983 Chicago (2:21:40)
  43. 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials (2:13:31) 8th
  44. 1985 New Jersey Waterfront (2:14:46) 2nd
  45. 1985 NYC (2:15:31) 7th
  46. 1986 Boston (2:13:35) 4th
  47. 1986 Chicago (2:15:31) 11th
  48. 1987 Phoenix (DNF)
  49. 1987 Boston (2:18:18) 15th
  50. 1987 NYC (2:25:01) 54th
  51. 1988 Phoenix (DNF)
  52. 1988 Los Angeles ( 2:20:27) 2nd masters
  53. 1988 Boston (2:18:17) 2nd masters
  54. 1988 NYC (DNF)
  55. 1989 Los Angeles (2:22:24)
  56. 1990 Boston (2:20:46) 5th masters
  57. 1992 Vietnam International 19th
  58. 1996 Boston (2:53)
  59. 1999 Boston (DNF)
  60. 2009 Boston (4:06:49)[4]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • 1973 AAU All-American Long Distance Team (20K)
  • 1975 National AAU- DI Benadato Award – Best Athletic Performance
  • 1975 Nominated Sullivan Award (placed second)
  • 1975 Ranked #1 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1976 Ranked #6 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1976 Member U.S. Olympic Team – Montreal, Canada
  • 1976 AAU All-American Track & Field Team (10K)
  • 1977 Ranked #1 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1978 Ranked #2 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1979 Ranked #1 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1981 Ranked #7 in the World in the Marathon by Track & Field News
  • 1989 New York Road Runners Club Abebe Bikila Award
  • 1989 Tiffany's Man of Achievement Award
  • 1990 RRCA Masters of the Year Award
  • 1992 RRCA Masters of the Year Award
  • 1994 CT Sports Writers Alliance Gold Key Award
  • 1999 Inducted into Long Distance Running Hall of Fame
  • 2000 Inducted into USA Track and Field Hall of Fame

Personal track records[edit]

  • 1 mile – 4:18.8
  • 2 miles – 8:48 (indoor practice); 8:53.6 (1975)
  • 3 miles – 13:25.4 (1976)
  • 5 kilometers – 13:42.00 (1978)
  • 10 kilometers – 28:04.4 (1976)
  • 15 kilometers – 43:39.8 (1977 – American Record)
  • 10 miles – 46:35
  • 20 kilometers – 58:15 (1977 – American Record)
  • 1 hour – 12 mi 1351 yd (20.556 km) (1977 – American Record)
  • 25 kilometers – 1:14:12 (1979 – World and American Record)
  • 30 kilometers – 1:31:50 (1979 – American Record)

Personal road records[edit]

  • 10 kilometers: 28:16 (1983)
  • 15 kilometers: 43:25 (1981)
  • 20 kilometers: 58:43 (1982)
  • 25 kilometers: 1:17:23
  • 30 kilometers: 1:29:04 (1976 – Unofficial World Road Record)
  • Marathon (42.195 kilometers): 2:09:27 (1979 – former American record)

Major road race wins[edit]

  • Boston Marathon: 4 wins
  • New York City Marathon: 4 wins
  • Fukuoka Marathon: 1 win
  • Amsterdam Marathon: 1 win
  • Houston Marathon: 1 win
  • Melbourne Marathon: 1 win
  • Falmouth Road Race: 3 wins
  • Lynchburg 10 miler: 5 wins
  • Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run: 4 wins
  • Utica Boilermaker 15 km: 1 win
  • Beverly Hills 10 km: 4 wins
  • Azalea Trail 10 km: 4 wins
  • Gurnet Classic Beach Run, Duxbury MA
  • Bloomsday 12 km: 1 win
  • Gasparilla 15 km: 1 win (first yr.)
  • Jacksonville 15 km: 1 win
  • BIX 7: 2 wins (incl. first yr.)
  • Big Boy 20 km: 3 wins

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bill Rodgers. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Powers, John (April 15, 2009). "26 more miles for Boston Billy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  3. ^ conversation with Bill Rodgers
  4. ^ Bill Rodgers Runs 4:06 in First Marathon in a Decade Retrieved 05 July 2013

Books[edit]

  • Rodgers, Bill, Marathoning (with Joe Concannon) (1980) Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-671-25087-6
  • Rodgers, Bill, Masters Running and Racing (with Joe Henderson and Priscilla Welch) (1995) Rodale Books, ISBN 0-87596-330-7
  • Rodgers, Bill, Bill Rodgers' Lifetime Running Plan: Definitive Programs for Runners of all Ages and Levels (1996) Collins, ISBN 0-06-273386-9
  • Rodgers, Bill & Douglas, Scott, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running, 2nd edition (2003) Alpha, ISBN 0-02-864466-2
  • Derderian, Tom, Boston Marathon: The First Century of the World's Premiere Running Event, 1996, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, ISBN 0-88011-479-7
  • Rodgers, Bill & Shepatin, Matthew, Marathon Man: My 26.2-Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World (2013) ISBN 9781250016980

Audio interviews[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Republic of Ireland Neil Cusack
Canada Jerome Drayton
Men's Boston Marathon winner
1975
19781980
Succeeded by
United States Jack Fultz
Japan Toshihiko Seko