I'm talking about the ones who would have been nobodies if they didn't go for it and run high mileage consistently. Here are the ones that come to mind for me:
James Carney: I feel like he is really under-appreciated. He went from a 30:47 guy in college to 27:43 as a pro who was contending for U.S. teams. I think i remember reading that he only ran like 10:00 for the 2 mile in high school too, just to further the point that he was an absolute workhorse with little natural ability. Apparently he ran "120 miles for 5 years" to get where he got. It did not happen right away. Can't help but think that today he would have gotten more comprehensive coverage and exposure. His peak was the mid to late 2000s, but still.
Cam Levins: Ran up to 180 a week in college and became the class of the NCAA. Seems like backed off in volume as a pro, but it got him into the NOP and made him a world class competitor. Hope he truly gets healthy and that we haven't seen the best of him yet.
Gery Lindgren: The legends of all day runs and middle of the night runs in the dead of winter. Granted nearly all of it is just from his own testimony, which is another discussion altogether.
Would love to hear about some more success stories that may be kind of under the radar. And if anyone knows of any women who did the same type of thing.
P.S. no one say Quinton Cassidy