1. NYC Marathon Founder Finishes the Race
Fred Lebow is the visionary who founded the NYC Marathon in 1970 and turned it into one of sport’s and NYC's signature events. The legendary Grete Waitz won the NYC Marathon for the first time in 1978, after which she and Lebow became fast friends. In 1992, two years after Lebow had been diagnosed with brain cancer, he decided to celebrate his 60th birthday by running the marathon—despite his waning health—with his longtime friend, Waitz. This race provided a lasting memory, not because of who was in the front of the pack, but because of the inspiring couple in the back: Lebow and Waitz. Waitz coached him through the pain and they finished together after five and a half hours, ending in an emotional embrace that will never be forgotten. Despite Waitz's many marathon wins, this was the finest moment of her NYC Marathon career. With Waitz's friendship and support, Lebow was able to win the race he started in 1970.