Lightning Rod

By Mario Fraioli

Dixon celebrating his 1983 New York City Marathon victory. Photo: New York City Marathon

In my six years working at Competitor Group, I had the good fortune to spend time with Rod Dixon at a number of Rock ’n’ Roll events and I always enjoyed chatting with him about his career, training, running shoes, and what he was doing with the KidsMarathon program. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. For those who aren’t super well-versed in the history of the sport, Dixon was an absolute stud, ran some super fast times, qualified for four Olympic Games, bagged a medal in one of them, and won more than a few big races, perhaps most notably the 1983 New York City Marathon (n.b.This photo from that race is one of my all-time favorites).

I came across this interview with Dixon a while back and really enjoyed it. (Warning: It’s long!) The exchange is full of incredible stories from his career (the one about his run with Pre and John Walker is a particularly good one) and awesome little anecdotes that are relatable to running, and life.

“We learn by doing and experiences we have such as heartaches and disappointments are just things to get over and to learn from and we move on. I don’t blame people for what is beyond my control. I just let it go and at some point the energy will come back. So, believe in yourself and stay with your energy and your spiritual self.”

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