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  104th BOSTON MARATHON

Rodgers still a force into his 50s

By Bill Griffith, Globe Staff, 4/9/00

Twenty-five years after his first Boston victory, Bill Rodgers remains a guy who races regularly and "still likes to win my division."

Since he turned 50 two years ago, he has won his division in 90 percent of the races he's run."I'll get on the line and see someone I used to race against and get all pumped up," he said.

One thorn in his side lately has been former indoor world mile record-holder Dick Buerkle, who retired when his 1980 Olympic hopes were dashed by the US boycott. Buerkle came out of retirement a few years back and has beaten Rodgers in a couple of races.

"I showed up at this little race in Atlanta," said Rodgers, "and there he was."

Rodgers revels in the age-group competition and his competitive fires are stoked when he sees himself ranked third in the world behind John Campbell and Buerkle.

In addition, he continues to maintain a partnership with brother Charlie in the Bill Rodgers Running Center at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

But being a father to two daughters, Elise and Erika, is perhaps the thing that changed his life most.

"Before, it was running, running, running," said Rodgers. "Now, I love being a dad." And running.

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