The 40th Anniversary Of Rod Dixon’s 1983 NYC Marathon Win!

Part 3 – Running Into The Legend On The Jersey Shore!

By Jeff Benjamin

In preparation for his 1983 NYC Marathon debut, Rod was continuing to race along the U.S. Road Race Circuit, notching wins and setting course records against fierce competition.

Rod Dixon, photo by Phil Cofnuk

In preparation for my 1983 College XC season, the College of Staten Island Coach advised us to travel a little under an hour from Staten Island down to Tim McCloone’s Asbury Park 10K.

The event, loaded with the high-quality elites and top sub-elite runners of the first American “Running Boom” was replete with large crowds rooting the thousands of runners as they traveled a beach-scenic and VERY flat 6.2 Miles before finishing at the historic convention hall center alongside the boardwalk.


The Asbury Park 10k, photo by Phil Cofnuk

With such a high-quality field, it was no wonder that my time of 35:45 was good enough for a place in the hundredths!

But Rod, taking advantage of the course as well as his 3:53 Mile speed, powered over the field to win in a time of 29:03!

The Asbury Park 10k Classic, photo by Phil Cofnuk

Afterward, at the Convention Hall Expo, Rod signed autographs on these huge Saucony posters!

Walking over, I had my first encounter with the Kiwi Great!

“Hello Mate!”, said Rod, who undoubtedly has used that opening upon thousands of people. Taking a sincere interest, he then asked for my name, age and how I ran that day. After giving him the info, he concluded by saying –

“Well, it sounds like you have a great future!”

Little did he know, as Rod would show not only himself but the world 2 months later in New York!!

Rod Dixon and Jeff Benjamin