7. Grete Waitz Dies of Cancer

Norway’s greatest runner won the New York City Marathon nine times

Dec 21, 2011
Outside Magazine
Grete Waitz

Grete Waitz    Photo: Adidas on Youtube

Grete Waitz wasn’t even planning to finish the New York City Marathon when she entered as a pacemaker in 1978. But finish she did, setting a new world record and winning the first of nine New York City Marathon titles. That number still stands as the most in race history and made Waitz both a star in New York and a beloved figure in the running community.

Waitz was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. She rarely spoke publicly about her illness and died on April 19 in Oslo, Norway. “Every sport should have a true champion like Grete, a woman with such dignity and humanity and modesty,” said New York City Road Runners Chairman George Hirsch.

Read more at The New York Times

Filed To: Athletes, Running