Tony Sandoval

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Anthony "Tony" B. Sandoval (born May 19, 1954) is a former world class marathon runner, most noted for winning the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, in the year the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Sandoval's 2:10:19 performance in Buffalo, New York on May 24, 1980 was a US Olympic Trials record.[1]

Sandoval finishing the IAAF Citizen Golden Marathon, in Athens, Greece in March 1982

In his first attempt to make the Olympic team "Sandoval took a crack at the '76 Olympic Marathon Trial. He'd run a 2:19 debut in Phoenix the previous December. In the trial, held in Eugene, Oregon, Sandoval ran well but it was his first near-miss: fourth-place [with the top three making the team] in 2:14:58."

In the late 1970s Sandoval worked towards becoming a medical doctor and competed in marathons on unusually light training. Following the 1976 trials he trained by running 35 miles per week and ran "a 2:14:37 for second place at the Nike-Oregon Track Club Marathon in Eugene in 1978. After that, he ran 2:15:23 for 15th place in the Boston Marathon in 1979."

In September 1979, Sandoval finished the Nike OTC Marathon tied for first with Jeff Wells with a time of 2:10:20,[2] with the two runners crossing the finish line hand-in-hand.[2] "'We were running together,' says Sandoval, 'At the finish, I just put my arm out and Jeff put his arm out. No words were spoken.'"[citation needed]

Following the 1980 Trials "Sandoval made attempts in subsequent marathon trials. He ran 2:12:42 for sixth place in 1984 and 2:22:37 for 27th place in 1988. In the 1992 trials in Columbus, Ohio, Sandoval popped an Achilles tendon at 8 miles and was a dnf [did not finish]. 'That was the last time I ran hard,' he says."

Sandoval's lifetime best for 10,000 meters came at the Mt. Sac relays in 1984, where he ran 27:47.0 for fifth place. Sandoval was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 1999.[3]

Sandoval is currently a cardiologist in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA.

Sandoval is referenced in the 2010 novel Again to Carthage by John L. Parker Jr.[4]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
1981 New York City Marathon New York, United States 6th Marathon 2:12:12 [5]


  1. ^ USA Track & Field (2004). "2004 USA Olympic Team Trials: Men’s Marathon Media Guide Supplement" (pdf). Santa Barbara, California: USA Track & Field. p. 9. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Kenny (September 17, 1979). "The Quick In A Dead Heat". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "RRCA Hall of Fame 1990-1999". Road Runners Club of America. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Parker, John L., Jr. (2010). Again to Carthage. Simon and Schuster. p. 343. ISBN 9781439192498. 
  5. ^ Course 150 m short on remeasurement

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