1. Bryan Clay
Born January 3, 1980, Clay is America’s foremost decathlete, and is the reigning Olympic champion for the decathlon, as well as the world champion in 2005.
2. Dathan Ritzenhein
Ritzenhein is an American long-distance runner, born December 30, 1982. He has won the USA Cross Country Championships in 2005, 2008, and 2010, and for a year held the American record in the 5,000-meter run.
3. Paula Radcliffe
British runner Radcliffe was born on December 17, 1973, and is the current women’s world record holder in the marathon, at just 2:15:25 hours. She is also a three-time winner of the London Marathon, twice of the New York Marathon, and once at the 2002 Chicago Marathon.
4. Geoffrey Mutai
Mutai was born on October 7, 1981, in Kenya. He’s a long-distance runner specializing in road running, winning the Monaco Marathon and the Boston Marathon. He set the record at Boston at 2:03:02 hours, which breaks the world record for a marathon as well, but is disputed as the Boston course doesn’t meet all the criteria to be eligible as such.
5. Haile Gebrselassie
Born on April 18, 1973, Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, best known for his feats in road running. He is one of the most accomplished living runners, having won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively, three wins in a row at the Dubai Marathon, and two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 meters, as well as four World Championship titles in the event.
6. Allyson Felix
Felix was born on November 18, 1985 and has been running since she was in ninth grade. She has won two Olympic silver medals for the 200-meter sprint and is also the only woman to be a three-time Athletics World Championship gold medalist in the same category. She won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing on the 4x400 meters women’s team as well.
7. Dean Karnazes
Karnazes was born on August 23, 1962, and is still the foremost American ultramarathon runner. After he ran 50 marathons in all 50 states in 2006, he has been commonly known as “the world’s most famous ultramarathon runner.”
8. Laura Fleshman
American track and field athlete Laura Fleshman was born on September 26, 1981. In 2006 and 2010 she was the US 5000 meters champion, and in the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics she finished in seventh place, which is the highest ever finish by an American woman in that event.
9. Chris Solinsky
Born on December 5, 1984, Solinsky is an American long-distance runner. He immediately got national attention when he won eight state championships while still in high school. Formerly, he held the American 10,000 meters record, and is the first non-African to break the 27-minute barrier in the 10,000 meters.
10. Ashton Eaton
Eaton is the youngest record holder on this list, being born on January 21, 1988. He’s an American decathlete who currently holds the world record in the heptathlon, with a score of 6499. Even more impressively, the previous record had stood for 17 years. He also took the silver medal in the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.
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