Rodgers had two lanes clear as he ran uptown, taking a bottle of water from his
brother at 69th Street, running in the blue exhaust of police motorcycles.
"It was all willpower," he said. "I had strange, fleeting thoughts.
I had a vision of falling down a manhole. I thought once, 'I can't bomb out
now. It'd be bad for business.' " (He had introduced a line of running wear
at Bloomingdale's the day before.)
through disappointment into pain. "I cramped on the inside of my
thighs," he said. "By the time we hit the Bronx I was stumbling. I
couldn't bend my knees enough to get over the curb on the Madison Avenue
Bridge. I stopped with shooting pains. I couldn't work them out. I wasn't going
to quit, though. I always finish these things." He did, in 2:29:58 for 76th
place. "One of these times, I'm going to stick all the way," he said.
"I don't know any other way to run."
Grete Waitz had
been timid early. Now she came on, catching Marty Cooksey at 18 miles. They ran
together for a mile, then Waitz was on her own, leaving Cooksey to finish a
distant second. Waitz is 25, a junior high school language and phys ed teacher
from Oslo, and holds the best time in the world this year for the women's mile,
4:26:9. "But there happen strange things after 20 kilometers," said her
husband Jack. "I was worried about my legs," said Waitz. "For the
last four miles I had cramps in both thighs." Until the last mile she did
not know she was running two minutes faster than the world record pace. She
finished in 2:32:30.
over the last few miles in Central Park. "If someone had offered me water
in the Park, I would have stopped and had a drink and a chat," he said
blithely. "But no one did, so I pressed on." He finished in 2:12:12 for
his third straight New York victory. A re-surging Ian Thompson was two minutes
behind. "The emotion in the last half mile was unbelievable," said
Thompson. "A glorious sensation." Great Britain's Trevor Wright was
third in 2:14:35. Sixth was Jack Foster of New Zealand, in 2:17:29. Foster is
46 years old. Frank Shorter, improving after ankle surgery, was 12th.
arrived with sunburned shoulders and her new women's world record. "I
couldn't think at all," she said. "I was just looking for the finish
line." She was tugged before the shouting press with Rodgers, and listened
to him say, "I think experience won it for me. Bjorklund is so tough. When
he gets the sense of this race, watch out."
her own sense of the marathon. "I don't know if I'll ever do one of these
again," she said.