Craig Virgin, one of our most colorful and amazing distance runners of the modern era, has been hospitalized in Panama City, Florida, complaining of chest pains. This was reported this week in a story on Track & Field News website. Keen observer Jeff Benjamin, a long time correspondent for American Track & Field sent us note on Craig today and asked us to make sure people knew that he is sick. There have been many notes up on the Facebook page of Craig Virgin, one today from Paul Geis, one of Craig’s competitors.
I was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. The first time I heard about Craig Virgin, was when he was a junior in high school in Illinois. He had won his state mile and two mile. We knew the guy was a total stud, and that he was from just across the river, we thought was pretty cool! Craig Virgin had broken the high school record of 8:41.5 for two miles set by Steve Prefontaine, with Virgin’s run of 8:40.9 in 1973, during my sophomore year in high school. HIs high school cross country course record in Illinois, which was 13:50.6, has been challenged only recently by Lukas Verzbicas, who ran 13:54.
I met Craig in the 80s, and we have seen each other at different events on and off for years. I have had some fascinating conversations about training and racing. In his prime, Virgin had the U.S. record at 10,000 meters, won two World Cross Country champs and made the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympic teams.
Virgin won the World Cross Country in 1979 and 1980. He broke the 10,000m AR in 1978, running 27:39.4. Two years later, Virgin an 27:29.90, the second fastest time in history (at the time).
Please keep Craig Virgin, who is 55, in your thoughts and prayers. Track & Field News reported that Craig was hospitalized this week with a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot. This is very, very serious. As we know more, we will keep you informed.
To learn more about Craig, we suggest your read the following piece-Craig Virgin, the Prefontaine who lived:
Craig Virgin official website:
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