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Four time Champ Bill Rogers set to run Boston Marathon again

Posted Apr 15 2009 11:02pm

Billrogers Bill Rodgers, whose four Boston Marathon victories between 1975 and 1980 helped popularize the sport of marathon running in the United States, plans to be on the starting line in Hopkinton once again on April 20th, the Boston Athletic Association announced.

His bib will read Rodgers, and his official number will be 79 to honor the 30th anniversary of his 1979 Boston Marathon win. Rodgers, 61, last completed the race in 1996, when he celebrated the 100th Boston Marathon. Then 48, Rodgers ran 2:53:23.

"We couldn' t be happier that Bill has chosen to run again this year," said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association. "Just the name Bill Rodgers brings to mind the true spirit and joy of running the Boston Marathon, from the race champions to the age-group athletes to those running to raise funds for charity. The man is known as Boston Billy for a reason."

The 113th Boston Marathon will be the 17th for Rodgers, who last year underwent treatment for prostate cancer. His victories came in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980. In his first victory here, running for the Greater Boston Track Club, he broke both the course and American records with his time of 2:09:55, despite stopping four times for a drink of water and once to tie his shoelace. He broke the course and American record again in 1979 with his 2:09:27 win.

This year, he hopes to complete the race in just under four hours, saying he is not seeking any age group records but just wants to run for the fun of it.

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