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Grete Waitz - Legacy Of A Trailblazer

Famous Sports StarsMarathonsGrete Waitz Biography - A Norwegian Tradition, Competes In 1972 Olympics, Competes In 1976 Olympics, Wins New York City Marathon - CONTACT INFORMATION

Legacy of a Trailblazer

Michael Sandrock wrote in Running With the Legends, "Waitz has no rival in terms of depth and breadth of career. Her place as the pioneer of women's marathoning is secure, and it is not farfetched to say that women's marathoning entered the modern era when Waitz entered New York in 1978." Sandrock pointed out that when Waitz began running, there are no women's 3,000-meter, 10,000-meter, or marathon races in the Olympics, no women-only races, no prize money for women, and very little regard from the running press for women runners. For example, when Waitz entered an Oslo 3,000-meter event, one journalist wrote "Oh, save us from these women running seven laps around the track," according to Sandrock.

By the time she ran her tenth New York City Marathon in 1990, the status of women's running was nearly equal to that of men's. Waitz, like other champions of her time, was a trailblazer throughout this change.

Where Is She Now?

Waitz and her husband divide their time between their homes in Oslo, Norway, and Gainesville, Florida. Waitz still runs the New York City marathon every year, but does it for the enjoyment, not as a competitor. She often signs autographs and talks to runners at an expo held before the race. Although she enjoys encouraging other runners to stay fit and do their best, she has said, according to Sandrock, "I have no more interest in competing." She is a spokesperson for Avon Running-Global Women's Circuit and for Adidas.

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