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Bill Rodgers

Inducted: 1999, athlete

Born: December 23, 1947 - Hartford, Connecticut

Events
15,000 m - 43:39.08
25,000 m - 1:14:12.00
marathon - 2:09:27


A four-time winner of both the Boston and New York City marathons, Bill Rodgers was one of the prime movers in the American distance running boom of the 1970s. He took up distance running on a serious note at Wesleyan University but stopped in 1970. After being inspired by seeing Frank Shorter win the 1972 Olympic marathon, Rodgers came out of retirement and blossomed in 1975 when he finished third in the World Cross Country Championships. A month later, he won the Boston Marathon. He culminated his year ranked number-one in the world by Track & Field News and was runner-up for the Sullivan Award for the nation's outstanding amateur athlete. In 1976, Rodgers ran the marathon at the Montreal Olympics but a cramp dropped him to 40th place. He dominated U.S. distance running for the rest of the decade, winning four national distance titles and setting a pair of American marathon records. He set a personal best of 2:09.27 while winning the 1979 Boston Marathon. Over a five-year period from 1975 through 1979, he was ranked first in the world three times and second on another occasion. As a master's athlete, Rodgers has set age group records at various distances from 5000 meters and the half-marathon.

Records Held
World Record: 25,000 m - 1:00:14.12 (February 21, 1979 - )
American Record: 15,000 m - 43:39.08 (August 9, 1977 - )

Championships
1976 Olympics: marathon (40th)

Education
high school: Newington (Newington, Connecticut), 1966
undergraduate: Wesleyan (Middletown, Connecticut), 1970

Occupations
Sporting goods entrepreneur
Public speaker
Writer

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