This afternoon, I managed to turn down the volume on the excitement over Boston for just a moment. The ensuing silence, while sad, was filled with nostalgic respect. It was a reflection on the life and inspiration of Grete Waitz, who passed away this morning after a six year battle with cancer.
As a freshman on my high school cross country team, Grete Waitz was the source of one of my many nicknames, the only one that has followed me into adulthood. It was bestowed upon me by a senior varsity runner.
"Yeah, I think you're like Grete," she'd said, during an afternoon run through the orange groves.
I barely knew who Grete was, but you can bet I went straight home to dig through my copies of Runner's World and and read every last word about her. The nine-time NYC Marathon winner, who showed girls it was okay to be strong and fast, has been a role model ever since.
Amby Burfoot writes a beautiful tribute here.
From his article: