Frank Shorter: Wikis


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Medal record

Frank Shorter in 2002
Men's Athletics
Competitor for  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1972 Munich Marathon
Silver 1976 Montréal Marathon

Frank Shorter (born October 31, 1947) is an American distance runner and winner of the marathon race at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Born in Munich, Germany, where his father, physician Samuel Shorter, served in the army, Frank Shorter grew up in Middletown, New York and graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School, Yale University, and the University of Florida College of Law.



Shorter first achieved fame by winning the 1969 NCAA 10,000 meter title in his senior year at Yale. He won his first U.S. national titles in 1970 in the 5000 meter and 10,000 meter events. He also was the U.S. national 10,000 meter champion in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Upon graduation from Yale, Shorter chose to pursue a law degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville because of the excellence of the environment and the opportunity to train with Jack Bacheler as members of the newly created Florida Track Club (FTC).[1] Bacheler was, at that time, regarded as America's best distance runner, having qualified for the finals of the 5,000-meter race at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.[2] The FTC's core nucleus of Frank, Jack and Jeff Galloway qualified for the 1972 Olympics and their success made Gainesville, Florida the Mecca of distance running on the East Coast in the early 1970s.[3]

Shorter won the U.S. national cross-country championships four times (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973). He was the U.S. Olympic Trials Champion in both the 10,000 m and the marathon in both 1972 and 1976. He also won both the 10,000 m and the marathon at the 1971 Pan American Games. Shorter was a four-time winner of the Fukuoka Marathon (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974). He was successful on the road racing circuit as well, winning the Peachtree Road Race in 1977 and the Falmouth Road Race in 1975 and 1976.

But his greatest fame came when Shorter won the Gold medal in the Marathon at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Shorter also finished fifth in the 1972 Olympic 10,000 meter final. He was the 1972 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Shorter earned his Juris Doctor (law) degree in 1975 from the University of Florida. He finished second in the Marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, behind surprise winner Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany. A light rain fell during much of that Marathon race and Shorter had a well-known dislike of running in rain.

Shorter decided to retire from athletics after the 1977 season to start his own athletic supply company but then returned to road racing competition in 1979, with high placings at several competitive races and wins at the Chicago Classic and the Badgerland 10 miler, setting the American 10-mile road record with a time of 47:34. He ended the year ranked #3 in the U.S. at 10,000 meters on the track and #5 in the North American Road Rankings by Track and Field News magazine. He also has worked in television as a sports commentator. He is former Chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Shorter, along with Charlie Jones, provided the voices of the TV announcers for a fictionalized staging of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in the 1982 film, Personal Best.

Shorter was also featured as a prominent character, played by Jeremy Sisto, in the 1998 film "Without Limits." The film follows the life of Shorter's contemporary, Olympic teammate and some-time rival Steve Prefontaine. Shorter was one of the last people to see Prefontaine alive before he died in a car wreck.

Shorter was the World Masters Biathlon Champion in 1989.

Frank Shorter was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989, and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998.

In Middletown, New York, the hometown of Shorter a road is dedicated under his name Frank Shorter Way.

Video Interviews

Track & Field News World Rankings


  • 1971 - first
  • 1972 - first
  • 1973 - first
  • 1974 - second
  • 1976 - second

10,000 Meters

  • 1970 - second
  • 1972 - fifth
  • 1974 - fifth
  • 1975 - second

5,000 Meters

  • 1975 - tenth

Track & Field News U.S. Rankings


  • 1971 - first
  • 1972 - first
  • 1973 - first
  • 1974 - first
  • 1976 - first

10,000 Meters

  • 1969 - third
  • 1970 - first
  • 1971 - first
  • 1972 - first
  • 1973 - fifth
  • 1974 - first
  • 1975 - first
  • 1976 - second
  • 1977 - first
  • 1979 - third

5,000 Meters

  • 1969 - sixth
  • 1970 - second
  • 1971 - fourth
  • 1972 - tenth
  • 1973 - seventh
  • 1974 - fourth
  • 1975 - third
  • 1976 - fifth
  • 1977 - seventh

Personal Records


  • 3 miles - 12:52
  • 5,000 Meters - 13:26.60 (1977)
  • 10,000 Meters - 27:45.91 (1975)


  • Marathon (26 miles, 385 yards)- 2:10:30 (1972)


  1. ^ Runner Space, 1 August 2009, interview with John Parker on important role of Jack Bacheler;
  2. ^ Sports Illustrated, 16 June 1969, profile of Jack Bacheler; accessed 21 NOV 2009;
  3. ^


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