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Keith Stone
RE: Why was distance running so popular in the 70s (or 80s)? Was it more popular than football?

mother clucker wrote:
Budweiser and Coors poured lots of money into advertising and races.

Let's not forget the very big Pepsi Challenge Series. They were giving thousands of shirts to race organizers, helping advertise, etc.

Road races became more main stream - lots of people racing down Main Street USA - it was a novelty.

True, and more cities supported events as part of normal operations instead of for a price. The runners (or bikers for that matter) in those days weren't just looked at as the a**holes blocking the road.

If you wanted to run Boston - qualifying was a real challenge.

In 1970 when they instituted the standards for Boston they were the ability to finish in under 4 hours. It was several years until the standards were lowered and age graded.

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