I agree that Shorter and Salazar were great runners, but what about
Craig Virgin ? Not only is he the only American male to WIN the
toughest footrace in the world...the World Cross Country (which did
TWICE) but he was also a force on the road and track. The
way Virgin raced also is a big factor .Not only could he use his
head, but he could lead, surge like an African (succesfully!), or
even kick (occasionally & not as succesful). He was a great high
school runner -8:40 2M prep record .He was a great college runner who
was overshadowed by older foregin runners, but made no excuses & won
a NCAA title. He also made 3 U.S. Olympic teams at 10,000m .
He was still in college when he made the '76 team. 1980 is still one
of the best 10K battles ever (vs. Lindsay) and he certainly would
have medaled in Moscow. Mentally he was as tough as they come. His
1st U.S. record at 10,000 was at a very windy U.S. championships. He
asked Shorter & Robbie Perkins to help but they would not or could
not. He sucked it up and broke Pre's record alone in a performance
probably superior to his P.R. or any other U.S .10,000 time so far.
His marathoning was not the very best, but he didn't focus on it
solely. It took all Seko had to break him at Boston & Virgin had just
come off his 2nd WXC title & an American road 10,000 the previous
weeks. Remember he did this with all the physical problems (the
Kidney situation that he was not suppose to live through). His
accomplishments are to numerous to list, but he has definately NOT
recived the recognition he deserves.
Craig Virgin #3 US all time 10k 27:29.16
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