Mile News


After the Fall

October 01, 2009

Many remember Zola Budd as the barefoot prodigy who broke world records, became a symbol of South Africa's oppression, and was blamed for Mary Decker's Olympic nightmare, but her story has more heartbreak, more hard-fought redemption, and considerably more weirdness than the legend.

By Steve Friedman, Runner's World

October 1st, 2009 - Last Autumn, at a pretty clearing nestled 3,333 ft above sea level in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, 194 female collegiate distance runners gathered to run a 5000 meter cross country race.

Many were tall and slim, rangy and loose-limbed in the way of college-aged distance runners. They came from North Carolina State and Clemson and Davidson and Miami and other colleges and universities, and it’s a safe bet that no matter what burdens any of them quietly carried—anxiety about grades, boyfriend troubles, or less specific but no less real woes—none had ever faced the combination of worldwide shame and personal loss that had battered the middle-aged woman in their midst.

She was neither tall nor slim nor rangy. She was 42, brown as a walnut, slightly thick in the middle. When the race started, she jumped in front. The young runners knew this was an open race, that oddballs could run if they wanted. But what was the runner in front thinking? Maybe she wanted to feel the sensation of leading a race. Maybe she would quit after a few hundred yards, then limp back to her grandkids and tell them about the day she led some real runners. Maybe she used to lead races, back in her day.

Continue reading at: www.runnersworld.com

Tags: zola budd (4) , olympics (72) , mary decker slaney (18) , los angeles 1984 (4)

Facebook Comments

Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

ELEVATE
Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

CELEBRATE
Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

NATIONAL MOVEMENT
Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!