Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rod Dixon, the NYC Marathon, and the Helmet Cam

Rod Dixon ran to one of the most spectacular marathon finishes ever in the 1983 New York City Marathon. I recall watching on television and cheering on the ever gutsy Geoff Smith as the figure of Rod Dixon loomed in the distance running the tangents and them powered on ahead to create an exhilarating victory for Dixon and a devastating loss for Geoff Smith. It also created one of the most iconic finish line photos.

Here is a video of that race.

Rod Dixon also contributed to one of the most bizarre occurrences at the New York City Marathon. Two years later in 1985 again at the New York City Marathon he showed up in the middle of the race running behind the leaders with a helmet cam strapped to a hockey helmet on his head. Here is an article about the helmet cam from 1985.

I think the helmet cam in races is an idea that never really caught on. Now, I guess there is a thing called a GoPro HD Helmet HERO Camera that athletes like skiers, skateboarders, surfers, and others strap to themselves or to their equipment to record stunning photos and videos. There is even a youtube channel just for these videos. Here is a video of a guy using one in this years Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.

This is a picture that I took of Rod Dixon after he won the 1980 Falmouth Road Race (talking with Joan Benoit Samuelson). I did not use a helmet cam to take the picture. In the 25th running of the Falmouth Road Race in 1997, I was running next to Frank Shorter right after the 5 mile mark (29 minutes flat) when we heard an accented voice call out behind us and Rod Dixon caught up. After awhile the two former champions both went ahead of me, but I really wish I had a photo of that moment when I was running with two former champions.


Anonymous said...

Hey....I arrived at your blog post while Google searching for something not entirely related. I'm glad for the "diversion", because the video you embedded of Dixon's Boston Marathon narrative was invigorating and inspirational to at least one former Ironman finisher (x6) who's greatest challenge now is not against the requisite "chronic distance training", but rather against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. wishes in your fight against your own chronic health challenge.



Jim Hansen said...

Thanks for the comments, David. Best wishes fighting the Chronic Fatigue. These is a lot of sruff we put our bodies through in the pursuit of the enjoyment of sports and performance.