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A nyone who has done competitive distance running finds it a challenge to be objective about Steve Prefontaine. He was the Muhammad Ali of the sport: a popularizer, a matinee idol, a big mouth who made promises and usually delivered on them.

He had an aggressive style both on and off the track, running with fierce intensity in the middle of the race to try to break faster runners because he didn’t have that great a final “kick.” When he took the national two-mile record in high school, he shaved seven seconds off the previous mark, and eventually captured seven American records between 2,000 and 10,000 meters. No US runner before or since has had the best times at so many different distances.

Click here for the full review by David Loftus.

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