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Grete Waitz

Mourning the Loss of Marathon Legend Grete Waitz

Written on April 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm , by

Grete crosses the finish line at the 1992 New York City Marathon with New York Road Runners founder Fred Lebow as he battled cancer. (Photo courtesy of Victah

Grete finishes the '92 New York City Marathon with New York Road Runners founder Fred Lebow as he battled cancer. (Photo courtesy of Victah/Photo Run)

We had marathon fever in the office yesterday (as we mentioned last night). Many of us were glued to our computers following the Boston Marathon on Twitter. Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon ever (2:03:02)! And Americans Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher ran personal bests (2:04:58—the fastest ever by an American—and 2:24:52, respectively). It was a wonderful day for running greats.

And today is a sad one, with the news that legendary Norwegian marathoner Grete Waitz, nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon and an Olympic silver medalist, has died of cancer at age 57.

“If Grete had to go, it is somehow fitting that she lived until the day after one of the greatest weekends in the sport of marathon running,” Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners said today.

I remember seeing pictures of Grete running the New York City Marathon in Runner’s World magazine while I was growing up and thinking that I want to run a marathon, too, someday. She was one of the first women marathoners I knew about and who inspired me. Grete will be missed.