There was a time when most Americans had no idea what a marathon was. Marathon runners were a weird bunch, and marathons, in fact road races in general, were few and far between.
A Yale graduate, Frank Shorter changed all that when he won the Olympic Marathon at the Munich Olympics in 1972.He helped ignite the "Running Boom" in America.
I describe and detail the Running Boom in my first book, 'Running Shorts.' www.muldowneyrunning.net , amazon.com/author/joemuldowney
Today, in his inaugural marathon appearance, 29-year old Galen Rupp, the silver medalist in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 London Olympic Games, proved that he may be the first American to earn a marathon gold medal in the Olympics since Shorter did so, 44 years ago.
Rupp endured record heat, 75 degrees at the finish line, to win in a time of 2:11:10.
Galen Rupp is the real deal and perhaps is the next Frank Shorter.