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Marathon great Grete Waitz dies at 57 from cancer

OSLO, Norway – Grete Waitz, the Norwegian runner who won nine New York City Marathons and the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with cancer. She was 57.

Helle Aanesen, the manager of the Active Against Cancer Foundation in Norway, said Waitz died early Tuesday at the Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo.

A former Oslo schoolteacher, Waitz won her first New York City Marathon in 1978, setting a world best in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds in her first attempt at running the distance. She went on to win eight more times, with her last victory coming in 1988.

She won the London Marathon twice, in 1983 and ‘86, the Stockholm Marathon in 1988 and earned five titles at the world cross-country championships from 1978-81 and 1983.

Waitz also won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1983 world championships in Helsinki, Finland. A year later, she took second behind Joan Benoit in the first women’s Olympic marathon.

Waitz competed at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics in the 1,500 meters, but missed the 1980 Moscow Games because of the American-led boycott.
Read the full AP Story.

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