27 Oct '12, 1am

Friday night read: 40 years ago, six women changed racing forever

By all accounts, it was a perfect day to go for a run. On the first Sunday morning in October 1972, Central Park was bathed in early fall sunshine, the crisp 50-degree air giving the changing leaves on the sugar maples and Sawtooth oaks near Tavern on the Green a bit of a sheen as the third New York City Marathon was scheduled to go off. It doesn't feel right using an uppercase M with this marathon. At the time the race was decidedly small-scale. Only 278 runners had signed up (for this year's race on November 4, some 47,000 have entered), they paid just $1 to get in (instead of today's $255), and the entire 26.2-mile race took place within the confines of the park, whereas today's marathon stretches over five boroughs and requires the space of Central Park just to stage the start. And Fred Lebow, who would ultimately become the impresario of the world's largest race, had ...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/microsite/article/0,8029,...

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