Friday, August 03, 2012

Remembering Pat Porter

It was a shock and very sad to hear that Olympian and eight time USA cross country champion Pat Porter was killed in a plane crash last week, along with his 15 year old son and another 15 year old boy in Sedona Arizona.

Through the 1980s Porter was THE man in cross country and he was a running icon who also excelled on the track and roads. We would see him at races several times a year in Colorado, and even after we moved away he'd be at big road or cross country races on the East or West Coast. I always felt that he wasn't the most talented runner out there, but no one in the US got more out of the ability they had.

Here is a link to probably his greatest race, a 4th place in the World Cross Country Championships in 1984. The young Porter, never a kicker, took the lead from the gun and pushed the pace throughout, leaving many past, current, and future legends (Craig Virgin, John Treacy, Ed Eyestone) in his wake. Only three other athletes hung with him (Carlos Lopes won the Olympic Gold Medal in the marathon that summer, and Steve Jones would go on to set the world record later that fall).

A couple years later Kenny Moore of Sports Illustrated wrote a long feature that captures Porter's remarkable training ethic and persona.

And here is Porter accepting a hall of fame award from his college athletic conference, just a week before his death.

Condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.


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