Best US Marathoner of All-Time


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Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:53 am

Ok T&F experts of all eras, who is the best US Marathoner of all times. Names to consider (not all inclusive by any stretch): Khannouchi (current WR holder), Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, John Kelly, Clarence DeMar (US?).......
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:16 am

My vote:

I'd have to give it to Frank. Shorter really dominated the early 70's including an Olympic win (72) in which he broke-away early and dominated a strong field and with a silver in 1976.

But Bill Rodgers is a very, very close second in my book. Tremendous talent and times from 1975 through 1980.

Both were also tremendous work horses for the sport in the US and all around nice guys.
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby dj » Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:36 am

Shorter, and not at all "very, very close" with Rodgers. I'm not certain who I'd put second, but Rodgers, Salazar and Khannouchi can all vie for the position with one person who has yet to be mentioned: Buddy Edelen.
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby 197hjsteve » Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:39 am

one OG gold, one OG silver. end of debate, it's Shorter.
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:51 am

Bill Rodgers did have two marathons under 2:10 during the 1970s as well as several others under 2:12. That was very strong for that decade.

Salazar wasn't as dominate for as long as Rodgers, although his best times were faster.

If Salazar had come along 10 years earlier and Rodgers 5 years earlier boy what a race we could have seen between Frank, Bill and Alberto in their primes.

I still would have taken Frank to put a hurting on them both in the closing miles. But what a race to think about!
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby BillCarr » Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:18 pm

I know we always throw out the "if's"

but if the US did not boycott the 1980 Olympics and Bill Rodgers won the gold, would it be different ?
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:35 pm

Thats why Bill is a very close second to me. I think he would have taken the 1980 Olympics if he was there but unfortunately Pres. Carter decided not to let us find out.

Even if he had, my gut tells me Frank could have stayed with him head to head in their prime and then I think his superior track speed would have made him very tough in the last mile or so.

But who knows......
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Re: Best US Marathoner of All-Time

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 1:09 pm

Neither Shorter nor Rodgers ever set a WR . They're tied in both World Rankings points and #1 rankings. Shorter holds the world's longest winning streak for the marathon, and is the third most successful Olympic marathoner ever. Rodgers bombed in '76 and never got a chance to either redeem himself or bomb again in '80, so for me that's a non-issue. Rodgers won the biggest US races eight times, while Shorter's greatest successes came outie of the USA.

I'd go with Shorter over Rodgers, but only because I think of the Olympic races as the most important. That's an iffy statement when it comes to marathons, though.

If you're talking about KK's complete career, he's obviously in the top three, and might even be #1. If you're talking about his career as an American, he might be eclipsed by DeMar just by sheer wealth of numbers. It's interesting that this is the only distance race where the USA has as many as four really great runners -- only in the mile do we have more than one!
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