In no particular order, here are my top five long distance runners of all time. These are runners I looked up to when I grew up. These runners made the impossible possible and always seemed to aspire for greatness. All athletes empowered their respective nations and generations. As always, comments are appreciated.
At one time, Prefontaine held American records for seven long distance events from the 2000 meters to 10,000 meters. Unfortunately, his career was cut short, but he will always be a legend.
During a meet between British AAA and Oxford University at Iffley Road Track on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister made history. He was the first person to break the four-minute barrier and inspire generations that came after him.
Guerrouj is the current world record holder at the 1,500 meters, mile, and 2000 meters. Guerrouj finally won gold in the 1500 meters and 5000 meters in Athens after disappointing performances in Atlanta and Sydney. He is an excellent ambassador for the sport and a consummate professional.
No man has won or set as many world records at so many different differences as Gebrselassie. He set the marathon record at the age of 35, which is simply amazing.
Keino was one of the first Kenyans to have success on the world stage. He inspired a nation of runners, and the Kenyans haven't looked back.