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.