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William Henry "Bill" Rodgers (born December 23, 1947) is an American runner and former American record holder in the marathon who is best known for his four victories in the Boston Marathon, including three straight 1978-1980 and the New York City Marathon between 1976 and 1980.
Rodgers won both the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon four times each between 1975 and 1980, twice breaking the American record at Boston with a time of 2:09:55 in 1975 and 2:09:27 in 1979. In 1977, he won the Fukuoka Marathon, making him the only runner ever to hold the championship of all three major marathons at the same time. He made the 1976 U.S. Olympic team and raced the marathon at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, finishing 40th. He did not participate in the Olympics in 1980 due to the U.S. boycott over the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR.
In 1975, Rodgers won the bronze medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, equaling Tracy Smith's 1966 bronze in the International Cross Country Championships as the highest an American had ever finished in international cross country competition. Rodgers' most remarkable year on the road racing circuit came in 1978 when he won 27 of the 30 races he entered, including the Pepsi 10 km nationals (with a new world road 10 km best time of 28:36.3), the Falmouth Road Race, and the Boston & New York marathons. Rodgers is also the former world record holder for 25 kilometers as he broke Pekka Päivärinta's world record with a time of 1:14.11.8 on a track at West Valley College in Saratoga, California in 1979.
Track & Field News ranked Rodgers #1 in the world in the marathon in 1975, 1977 and 1979. Of the 59 marathons Rodgers ran, 28 were run under 2:15. In all he won 22 marathons in his career. He came to be referred to by sportswriters and others as "Boston Billy".
Bill Rodgers Running Center in Faneuil Hall Market Place in Boston, Massachusetts was owned and operated by Bill and his brother Charlie. The family-run business operated from 1977 to 2013. He currently lives in the small town of Boxborough, Massachusetts and still participates in running-themed events.
1973 Boston Marathon (Did not Finish)(DNF)
1973 Bay State Marathon (2:28:12) 1st Course Record (CR)