Soler’s Sports joins many in the running community who mourn the passing of distance running legend Grete Waitz today. Grete inspired many of us, men and women alike, with her tremendous spirit and numerous athletic accomplishments. We send our heartfelt condolences to her friends and family.

The IAAP issued this statement:

Monaco – The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news that Grete Waitz, a legendary pioneer in women’s Marathon running, passed away today after fighting a long battle with cancer.

Waitz, who took the gold medal in the Marathon at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Helsinki in 1983 and the Olympic silver medal over the distance in Los Angeles in 1984, was 57.

A sporting legend in her native Norway, Waitz was perhaps best known for her streak of four World bests in the Marathon from 1978 to 1983, her five victories at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and for her record nine victories at the New York City Marathon.

“One of the brightest flames of the modern athletics era has been extinguished but the heroic deeds of Grete Waitz will live on eternally,” commented IAAF President Lamine Diack. “The dedication, perseverance and fortitude with which Grete carved out her athletics career on the track, across the country and on the road is an example to us all, as is the positive way she tackled the illness that beset her life in recent years. On behalf of the international athletics family I wish to express our heartfelt sorrow at the passing of such a great champion, and offer our sincerest sympathies and condolences to her family and friends.”

Click here to read a full obituary on the IAAF website: