Ewen, from down under, is always worth a visit and has a real store of knowledge on the history of our sport. He commented on my Tuckahoe post with a reference to David Moorcroft, who came oh-so-close to breaking 13 in the 5,000, just .41 over. He was a segment of Bud Greenspan’s “16 Days of Glory,” which covered the 1984 Olympics. Here it is:

I’ve also taken the liberty to include here Ewen’s follow-up note:

    Thanks for the Moorcroft link Joe – I hadn’t seen that. I remember when watching the final the commentator Bruce McAvaney saying something like “Moorcroft’s gone!”

    I can’t remember anything being made of his injury hampered preparation. To me it looks like he was good for one race (the semi), which seems to have flared up the injury. If he hadn’t had to run a semi and the final was a slow race, he would have been in the mix until the last lap, not 350m behind.

    Very interesting about his philosophy of never dropping out of a race (If you can’t drop out, you haven’t got that option). I know Steve Moneghetti had that same philosophy, and he also had Moorcroft’s habit of never looking back (if you looked back in a race, it was a sign of weakness).

If I recall correctly, Alberto Salazar was injured in a world champs 10,000 and finished DFL, and a quick check of Wikipedia shows that it was in 1983. He also expressed the never-quit mentality, a mentality, I’m afraid to say (since I’ve been known to DNF), may be part of what separates the good from the great.