Cross CountryTrack & Field

Five Fantastic Front Runners:Catch me if You Can

So we have had our fast finishers but what about those who choose to lead from the front?
We picked 5 of the best front runners in history. They are many more, we definitely had a few howlers and left some people out.

Filbert Bayi

These race has to be seen to be believed. Filbert Bayi decides to go for it from the front, wins the race and sets a world record. Forty years on, it is still a Commonwealth Games record. Apparently he did not like to get spiked and this is why he decided that front-running was a better option.

Sammy Wanjiru

Championship Marathons are usually slow run affairs. Marathons in searing Hot temperatures, stifling humidity and with toxic air quality would be expected to be slow. Going through the first 5k in 14:52 (2:05 pace) is crazy. Picking it up is even crazier, the second 5k was run in 14:33. They relaxed back to a 15:11 before blasting a 14:34. Wanjuri kept surging and kept trying to break the field. He did so and set an Olympic Record.

Zersenay Tadese

Poor old Zersenay, forever to be seen as the man who tried to break Bekele. He found great success on the roads and the country winning a world title in both but I will always remember Zersenay going for it countless times, trying to break the great Kenenisa Bekele. He could not but the man always tried. He still holds the Half Marathon World Record.

David Rudisha

Most of the time, a front runner runs from the front as they dont have the speed to kick. Its difficult to suggest that Rudisha is too slow to do anything else. 49.28 for the first lap and off he goes, looking like a prize race horse sniffing home. The greatest 800m race ever, bar none.

Paula Radcliffe

So often did Paula try to out-pace the best Africans from the gun, one could forgive her for giving up here but she did not. Wami even got by Paula and it looked to be yet another Radcliffe collapse. Grit, Determination and Heart won the day.

Jenna Prandani US Champion over 200m
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Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan

Ronan Duggan is an athlete, coach, athletics fan and, most importantly, was once named Bandon AFC's under-12 Player of the Year. He was once a promising athlete but is now a promising coach, teacher and part-time athletics writer/broadcaster. While an 800m runner himself, Ronan has coached everything from pole vault to 10km with varying levels of bluffing. He has regularly been threatening to do something for years but is yet to deliver. He is regarded as our expert on the American running scene, though has yet, to prove his knowledge in this realm.

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