Thursday, December 15, 2011

Craig Virgin deserves it!

Craig Virgin is one of America's greatest ever distance runners. He won the World Cross-Country Championships twice (1980-1981). He finished in 2nd place in the 1981 Boston Marathon, qualified for the Olympics 3 times in the 10,000 meters and won the 1979 Falmouth Road Race among other achievements. Earlier this month he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Here is a video of the incredible finish of the 1980 World Cross-Country Championships. Even if you have seen this multiple times, it is always inspiring.

Craig Virgin certainly deserves such an honor. However, I think what he really deserves is to get himself running again. This recent article tells about the struggles he has overcome and still faces. His body has been through the wringer and he just wishes he could recover his stride enough to run a 10K again some day.

Virgin was badly injured in an auto accident in 1997 and ruptured his right quadriceps during a fall on ice a few years later. He has had 15 surgeries and the most he can run is two miles although he still continues to workout at a gym. He has also three surgeries because of a congenital kidney condition. 
"I'm no longer Craig Virgin the Olympian," he said. "I'm Craig Virgin the middle-age everyman who wants to lose 10 pounds."
and then goes on to say:
"Jimmy Connors still plays tennis. Jay Haas and Hale Irwin still play golf," he said. "Running is something you do because you love it. I still have a passion for it."
You can't take the run out of a runner and for someone who has reached such high levels in the sport of running, it must be incredibly hard to not be able to run. If anyone deserves to get their legs back and be able to recover their stride, I would put in my vote for Craig Virgin. 


I took this photo of Craig Virgin at the 1978 Falmouth Road Race where he placed 3rd.

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