As Alberto Salazar recovers from a heart attack, it is once again worth reflecting on his career, which ranks him as one of the greatest American runners in history. The 48-year old Salazar, now a coach employed by Nike, suffered a heart attack on June 30.
Salazar is known best for his three victories at the New York Marathon between 1980 and 1982 and his furious Duel in the Sun with Dick Beardsley at the 1982 Boston Marathon, which he also won. He also competed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in the marathon, finishing 15th.
Salazar also has to his name a 4th-place finish at the World Cross Country championships and personal bests of 13:11 for 5,000 meters and 27:22 for 10,000 meters. The latter mark remains one of the fastest ever by an American.
It was initially reported that Salazar had been hospitalized due to heart problems, but it was later made clear that he had suffered a heart attack. He was later reported to be in fair condition and has since been released from hospital.
Salazar revealed in a recent interview that he has a family history of heart problems, but he never expected heart problems. Nor would anyone else expect the 2:09 marathoner to have a heart attack: as The Oregonian wrote, “if Alberto Salazar can have a heart attack, anyone can.”
Read more about Salazar and his release from the hospital.