Honoring the Great Grete Waitz

Honoring the Great Grete Waitz

Grete Waitz is best known for her amazing dominance of the New York City Marathon, with nine victories (including three world records) between 1978 and 1988. She also won the NYRR New York Mini 10K five times. Outside of New York City, Waitz was a five-time IAAF World Cross Country Champion, the gold medalist at the 1983 World Championships Marathon, and the silver medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Marathon.

When she retired from competitive running in 1990, Waitz channeled her passion and drive into creating opportunities for other people to become healthier and happier through running and fitness, and some of her most meaningful work was with New York Road Runners. From 1998 until her death from cancer in 2011, Waitz served as chairwoman of the New York Road Runners Foundation, which has evolved into Rising New York Road Runners, NYRR’s flagship youth program. Today’s race honored all that Waitz did for running, on the course and off, including the co-founding of AKTIV Against Cancer (AKTIV), a foundation that works to ensure that physical activity will become an integral part of cancer treatment.

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Breaking today’s finish line tapes were Megan Foster of the Williamsburg Track Club in 36:21, a new NYRR Grete’s Great Gallop event record, and Temesgen Habtemarian Bekele of West Side Runners in 30:48.

Cool, overcast weather made for great racing conditions for runners in the midst of their fall racing season and those using this 6.2-mile race as a tune-up for the TCS New York City Marathon on November 4.

The post-race festival featured an hour’s worth of yoga sessions as well as lawn games, photo opportunities, and AKTIV prize drawings.


Race participants and others could celebrate Waitz’s legacy and support AKTIV Against Cancer's mission with a donation.

What’s your next NYRR race? Check out our 2018 race calendar for adults and free events for youth ages 2-18, and stay tuned for events in early 2019, opening for registration next week.

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