40 years ago today, The 1976 Olympic Marathon Trials in Eugene.

On this day, 40 years ago, was the 1976 Olympic Marathon Trials. As once noted at one of the greatest marathons ever, the field was deep from Frank Shorter, Bill Rogers, Amby Burfoot, Tony Sondoval, Tom Flemming and Don Kordong. It was truly a pack of leaders.

Shorter and Rogers set out at seemingly sub-2:10 pace, legendary for the time. As Shorter and Rogers dueled until the last two or three miles, Rogers dropped back due to his leg. This gave Shorter the big “W,” winning 2:11.51. Frank Shorter’s win made him the first man to go back to back Marathon Trials champion. Shorter and Bill Rogers were followed by Don Kardong finishing third in a time of 2:13:54.

87 Qualifiers, 77 Starters, 49 Finishers

1. Frank Shorter (FL) 2:11:51
2. Bill Rodgers (MA) 2:11:58
3. Don Kardong (WA) 2:13:54
4. Tony Sandoval (CA) 2:14:58
5. Tom Fleming (NJ) 2:15:48
6. Bob Varsha (GA) 2:15:50
7. John Bramley (CT) 2:17:16
8. Kirk Pfeffer (CA) 2:17:58
9. Jeff Galloway (GA) 2:18:29
10. Amby Burfoot (CT) 2:18:56
11. Bob Busby (MO) 2:19:05
12. Carl Hatfield (WV) 2:19:18
13. Marty Sudzina (PA) 2:19:55
14. Perry Forrester (CA) 2:20:01
15. Ron Kurrle (CA) 2:20:18

Additional commentary can be heard from running author Joe Henderson.

As the three Americans now qualified for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. Frank Shorter would go one to run a 2:10:45.8 winning the silver medal behind the East German, Waldemar Cierpinski (2:09:55). Don Kardong would come in fourth place just missing the bronze medal by just three seconds, while Bill Rogers had fallen back due to a lagging leg injury.

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