I had forgotten about Grete Waitz until I read the story on the AP wire this morning saying she had died at age 57 of cancer.
She was a Norwegian runner — a former Oslo school teacher — who won nine New York City Marathons. The first one was in 1978, when she set a world record of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds.
But this is what’s really interesting: That world-record 1978 New York Marathon was the very ... first... time ... she had ever run that distance.Here’s what AP said about that: “Waitz had never run a marathon when she started the New York City race in October 1978. Her husband had talked her into trying, but after about 18 miles she regretted it.
“I was hurting. I was mad. I was angry. I told Jack: ‘Never again,’” Waitz recalled in 2008.
Hurting, mad, angry and vowing never to do it again, she then set a world record.
How cool is that?