"Pretty well. I had surgery on my knee two days ago."
Samuelson had won the 1984 U.S. Olympic trials less than three weeks after a similar operation. Waitz followed Samuelson's training routine, but unfortunately didn't obtain the same results. She failed to finish the Olympic marathon, which was won by Rosa Mota of Portugal.
But Waitz came to New York ready to go. For the first 13 miles, she ran with Samuelson and Laura Fogli of Italy. Then, as the three crossed the Pulaski Bridge into Queens, Waitz gradually pulled away. A mile later Samuelson made a pit stop between two parked cars to relieve stomach distress.
When Samuelson returned to the course, she had lost some 30 seconds to Waitz and Fogli, the eventual second-place finisher. Samuelson seemed within striking distance of Fogli at Mile 21 when she collided with a child trying to give water to another runner and crashed to the pavement. "I was stunned more than anything," she said after finishing third. "I never would have caught Grete anyway."
Waitz cruised for the final 10 miles, covering the course in 2:28:07 for her 13th win in 18 marathons. She hedged, though, when asked about plans to return for a 10th crown. "I don't know if I will," she said. "Last year Fred [ Lebow] told me if I won 10, he was going to retire. I don't want to make him quit."
"Make me, Grete," pleaded Lebow, who was standing nearby. "Make me."