Grete WaitzGrete Waitz died early this morning at a hospital in Oslo, Norway after a 6 year fight with cancer.

Grete was an amazing runner who still holds the 1500 and 3k national records in Norway. She really drew the notice of the American running scene when Fred Lebow invited her to run the New York City Marathon in 1978.

She won, and set a world record, but she was in so much pain from mile 18 on that she said she’d never do that again. She then went on to win a silver Olympic medal and set the world record 3 more times.

She has downplayed her cancer since being diagnosed in 2005, confident that she could beat it. She’ll be missed, and remembered for the impact that she’s had on the sport of running, on the marathon, and on women’s running.