Media Luncheon Launches Marathon Week
Fifth Greatest Moment in NYRR History Was a Tie
York, October 27, 2008ÛÓThe countdown toward naming the top moment in
New York Road Runners history began today at a media luncheon hosted by
Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president and CEO and ING New
York City Marathon race director. The fifth-greatest moment was
disclosed as a tie between the first five-borough New York City
Marathon, in 1976, and Grete Waitz’s record ninth win, in 1988.
To mark the 50th anniversary of NYRR, fans voted from a predetermined short list of 15 video moments.
The top five are being revealed this week on a daily basis, culminating
in the Number One Great Moment announcement on Friday, two days before
the 39th running of the ING New York City Marathon.
Rodgers, who won the 1976 race, described the move from an event
previously held within Central Park to one that expanded into all five
boroughs that year as “earth-shattering.” Race director Fred Lebow
redrew the course to accommodate the growing numbers of participants.
Watching edited highlights of the race, Rodgers added: “Everyone out
there running has that connection with people cheering them on. I
always ran on my emotions. If there were big crowds, it always helped a
“The fact that the course has held up and is able to handle what it
handles now, amazes me,” Wittenberg said. “It’s a way more interesting
course than any other course I know.”
Rodgers recalled the past and spoke about the future today. The
four-time winner said, that he would like to run New York again with
either or both of his daughters, Elise, 23, and Erika, 18. Rodgers, now
60, said that he last ran New York in 1989.
In sharing the No. 5 Great Moment with Waitz, Rodgers suggested that
the Norwegian was arguably the greatest woman distance runner of all
time. A five-time World Cross Country champion and world record-holder
in the 3000 meters and the marathon, Waitz won New York in 1978-80,
1982-86, and 1988.