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Four-Time Boston Champion Bill Rodgers Toeing The Line


4-time Boston Marathon Champion Bill Rodgers to run again on Patriots’ Day


Boston, Mass.
Bill Rodgers, whose four Boston Marathon victories between 1975 and
1980 helped popularize the sport of marathon running in the United
States, plans to be on the starting line in Hopkinton once again on
April 20th, the Boston Athletic Association announced today.

His
bib will read “Rodgers,” and his official number will be 79 to honor
the 30th anniversary of his 1979 Boston Marathon win. Rodgers, 61, last
completed the race in 1996, when he celebrated the 100th Boston
Marathon. Then 48, Rodgers ran 2:53:23.

“We couldn’t be happier
that Bill has chosen to run again this year,” said Guy Morse, Executive
Director of the Boston Athletic Association. “Just the name “Bill
Rodgers” brings to mind the true spirit and joy of running the Boston
Marathon, from the race champions to the age-group athletes to those
running to raise funds for charity. The man is known as “Boston Billy”
for a reason.”

The 113th Boston Marathon will be the 17th for
Rodgers, who last year underwent treatment for prostate cancer. His
victories came in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980. In his first victory here,
running for the Greater Boston Track Club, he broke both the course and
American records with his time of 2:09:55, despite stopping four times
for a drink of water and once to tie his shoelace. He broke the course
and American record again in 1979 with his 2:09:27 win.

This
year, he hopes to complete the race in just under four hours, saying he
is not seeking any age group records but just wants to run “for the fun
of it.”

Boston Athletic Association
Established
in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization
with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy
lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston
Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization
manages other local events, including the B.A.A. Half Marathon
presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and
supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs.
Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John
Hancock Financial.

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