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

Butter butt wrote:

LDR will never, has never and is not more popular than football.
Say it with me: Football is king in mainstream U.S. It is what we skinny guys hoped to play. It is what we too-slow runners hoped to play. It is what we dream of, when we dream of getting a decent or even half-decent looking girl.
We runners. We chosen few. We band of brothers who sheds their blood with me shall be my brother throughout eternity.

Or something like that.

You're wrong. You're talking about men, but they're only half the story.

Have I missed something--and I did indeed skim all the posts fairly quickly--or has nobody mentioned the L'Eggs Mini Marathon?

That 10K race in Central Park was huge. It coincided with the post-radical-feminism expansion of feminism into a semi-mainstream thing: women being sisters in each other's presence in a mass way. 5,000 women, or somesuch, with no men except as spectactors, cheering 'em on.

I daresay that running is STILL more popular among American women than football, and I live with a woman who loves her some Dallas Cowboys.

Seriously: Frank Shorter's Olympic win was what helped things explode, but the Me Generation turn away from politics and towards what Maslow called "peak experiences" and self-actualization was a part of what made running a big thing back then, too. Hard to describe. I started running in 1972 thanks to Shorter; the day after his Olympic win, I said, "hey dad, we're putting on some sneakers and going for a run down at Rockland Lake." I mean we wore SNEAKERS. Flap flap flap. But it was running, and Shorter on TV got us there.

I didn't really get serious until 77-78, and that was a great time. RW seemed to have a great cover story about one road race or another every single month. Shorter, Waitz. Grete Waitz was, of course, the hero of the L'eggs Mini Marathon--the NYC Marathon heroine who came back to run and/or MC. (I'm old; memory fails.)

I was there for several of those early L'eggs Races because I dated a woman who was a member of the very first Princeton women's track team. Serious sister-power on the 6 mile loop, my brothers. Lots of....perspiration.

And Salazar: I watched him run by. My GF's folks lived on 93rd & Fifth and we walked out and watch Salazar motor by. Exciting stuff. He excited people. Shorter, Rodgers, Waitz, Salazar, Pre. And L'eggs. That's your answer, right there.

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