Thursday, August 8, 7:00 pm.
- Lecture: Cameron Stracher, author of “Kings of the Road: How Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar made Running go Boom!”
Running is so popular in America that it’s easy to assume it always has been. It hasn’t. In the 1970s and 1980s, three men transformed running from a sleepy sport. Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar inspired millions of Americans to become runners themselves. Cameron Stracher gives us unparalleled access to these men’s lives and a unique lens onto two decades of financial and political turmoil. While the country floundered, Americans found solace in their new sport.
For years running was too repetitive to attract many spectators. When TV sets found their ways into most American homes, people watched baseball. Then, in quick succession, came three fantastic athletes. Each one bested the race track in their own way. Med school dropout Frank Shorter’s dramatic Olympic victory in the marathon was the first for an American in 64 years. 22-year-old Alberto Salazar broke the nation’s record in the first marathon he ever ran. Salazar pushed himself so hard in one race that he suffered heat stroke and a body temperature of 108 degrees, only to finish after Bill Rodgers.