Pete Pfitzinger

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Peter ("Pete") Dickson Pfitzinger (born August 29, 1957 in Camden, New Jersey) is a former American distance runner, who later became an author and exercise physiologist. He is best known for his accomplishments in the marathon, an event in which he represented the United States in two Summer Olympic Games: the Los Angeles Olympics (where Pfitzinger finished 11th) and the 1988 Seoul Olympics (where he placed 14th).

In the 1984 Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Buffalo, New York, Pfitzinger cemented his place among the best American marathoners of all time in stirring fashion by taking the lead halfway through the race, relinquishing it in the final mile, then storming past the heavily favored Alberto Salazar in the final fifty yards to win the race. Pfitzinger won the San Francisco Marathon in 1983 and 1986.[1]

Pfitzinger is the co-author (with Scott Douglas) of two highly popular training books for distance runners - Advanced Marathoning and Road Racing for Serious Runners. He is also a senior writer for Running Times Magazine.

Pfitzinger is a 1979 graduate of Cornell University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a Master of Arts in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Pfitzinger's wife Christine is also a former world-class runner. The Pfitzingers have lived in New Zealand - Chrissey's country of origin - since the mid-1990s.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
1983 San Francisco Marathon San Francisco, United States 1st Marathon 2:14:45
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 11th Marathon 2:13.53
1986 San Francisco Marathon San Francisco, United States 1st Marathon 2:13:29
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 14th Marathon 2:14.44


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