A race-horse, a rock band, a mountain and an asteroid: Runners' names in popular culture, December 18, 2013

Here's a Holiday season quiz for snowed-in runners:

  1. Which famous runners have a racehorse named after them?
  2. Identify a mountain, a rock, and a rock band named after runners.
  3. And a cookie, a doll, a pub, a post office, and an asteroid.
  4. Which runners have had songs written for them?
  5. Which runners have had their face on banknotes or coins?
  6. Which runners have become proverbial in their home countries?

A few weeks ago a headline got my attention: “Millie Sampson Makes It Two Wins from Two Starts.” Say again? Millie Sampson was the New Zealand runner who back in 1964, very early days for women's marathon running, set the women's world record (3:19:33). She's still around Auckland, and I've written about her, always enjoying her lively company. But Millie turned 80 this year. And the headline was on the racing page. Harness Racing NZ solved the mystery. Millie Sampson is a 3-year-old filly named after the runner, and “won the Lincoln Farms maiden, pacing the 2200 mobile in a blistering 2:42.6, with a flat tyre.” A worthy namesake.

So, as something lighter for the Christmas season, to end a year that has sometimes been fraught, and always intense, for our sport of running, I playfully started to explore the internet for runners whose names have gone out into the world beyond running. 

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Tags: Runners' names in popular culture

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