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 Audio Interview: Frank Shorter's 1972 Olympic Marathon
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:51 pm
From NPR's archives, I dug up an interesting audio interview with Frank Shorter in which he talks about his 1972 Olympic Marathon win (requires Real Player or Windows Media 9). The segment was taped back in August, just before this year's Olympic marathon. Shorter's fascinating interview explains his mindset on the morning of the race, and the tactics he used to break the field and win the gold medal.

No American has won the event again since Shorter's marathon victory in Munich. Training up to 180 miles per week in the months leading up to the race, he was in peak physical condition, and on race day he knew he was ready. Normally the lead runners stay in a pack and engage in a war of attrition, but Shorter surged ahead early on, opening up a sizable gap just 8 miles into the race. He never looked back, and led the rest of the way.

Sadly for Shorter, he was robbed of the roaring crowd that should have greeted him at the finish when he entered the Olympic stadium in the lead. Normally the crowd would give a huge cheer when the leader appeared, but what Shorter did not know was that an imposter had run onto the track minutes earlier, pretending to the marathon leader, and receiving the crowd's applause. When Shorter reached the finish, the crowd was still confused and upset, and the stadium was silent.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Audio Interview: Frank Shorter's 1972 Olympic Marathon Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:35 am 

That was pretty cool. I liked his comment where, with three miles to go, he reminded himself that at this point in a marathon he always felt like he was going slower than he really was, and that he shouldn't worry. Now why is it that for me, with three miles to go in a marathon, I always really AM going slow?!

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Audio Interview: Frank Shorter's 1972 Olympic Marathon Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:36 pm 

I remember that segment. Two things stood out: his absolutely ridiculous mileage (180mpw, is that right?) and also the very sad/funny part about his anticipation of running into the Olympic stadium to cheers, only to have some teenager from the crowd run in front of him and beat him into the stadium by a couple of minutes and hearing the crowd erupt in cheers and then virtually nothing when he ran in (talk about stealing your thunder!).

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