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Waitz
Waitz
Bill Bowerman
Grete Waitz
She would return to New York and win an unprecedented nine times. For her influence on American running in the United States, Waitz was the first foreign runner inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.
Waitz


Few female runners have as complete a resume as Grete Waitz. Her career spans all of running's disciplines, from track and cross-country to road racing and marathoning – in each she has excelled.

She is known throughout the world as a nine time winner of the New York City Marathon. No other runner, male or female, comes close to accomplishing this feat. Waitz's running career started much earlier than her highly publicized wins in the United States.

Waitz grew up in Oslo, Norway. Through her teen years she won national junior titles in the 400 and 800 meters. At age 17, she set the European junior record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:17. In 1974, Waitz won a bronze medal at the European Championships at the metric mile distance.

The next year, Waitz raced the 3,000 meters and set a world record with a time of 8:46.6. By the end of 1975, Waitz was ranked number one in the world in both the 1,500 and 3,000. In 1977, Waitz won a gold medal in the 3,000 meters in the inaugural World Cup meet.

In 1978, an invitation arrived from New York City Marathon co-founder and director, Fred Lebow. Waitz won the marathon and set a new world record with a time of 2:32:30.

The race proved to be a turning point for Waitz' career. She would return to New York and win an unprecedented nine times, in '78, '79, '80, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86 and '88. She set world records in '78, '79 and '80.

Waitz continued to compete in track and cross-country and won five world cross-country championships. In 1984, she competed in the first women's marathon in the Olympic Games. She took home a silver medal for Norway.

Waitz has retired from running, but stays active in the running community as a spokeswomen for Avon Running - Global Women's Circuit and for Adidas. For her influence on American running in the United States, Waitz was the first foreign runner inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Waitz


 

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