Cross Country Collections: Mount Rushmore of Distance Running

Who would you place on the “Mount Rushmore of Distance Running?”

It is a question that begs a lot more questions about criteria. Is this the ‘best long distance runners by time? World medals? Most well known by the average person? Is it the most accomplished by some other standard? How about middle distance?’

This is the beauty of the Mount Rushmore concept. To get your face on a mountain, you have to have made a significant contribution to the sport – enough that would warrant such an honor. “Contribution,” I suppose, is left to your discretion. Here is who I have:

Tier 1

Bill Bowerman

Paavo Nurmi

Kip Keino

Roger Bannister

Tier Two

Emil Zatopek

Arthur Lydiard

Steve Prefontaine

Haile Gebrselassie

American Only

Bill Bowerman

Steve Prefontaine

Jim Ryun

Frank Shorter

Women Only:

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Mary Decker

Deena Kastor

Molly Huddle

If I could actually choose, it would be these four faces:

Jane Remark – keep the maiden name

Myself – obviously

Glen Ellingson – in the pose of him falling over on the track in the state 3200

Zatopek – …put the legend’s face right by mine, if possible.


Published by rsederquist

My name is Ryan Sederquist.  I am a man of many passions and dreams, and this website is the outlet for many of them. I am currently teaching 5th grade remotely in the Adams12 school district in Colorado. I have been an elementary music teacher in Alamosa, Colorado, as well as a 7-12 band director at Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado. I am also in the final, final stages of acquiring my M.S. in Exercise Science from Adams State University. In 2018-2019, we spent a year in Presque Isle, Maine as I coached the UMPI Nordic ski team. I currently live in Leadville, Colorado with my wife Christie, a special education teacher, and our border collie-German shepherd mix, Ajee. Even though it is not my full-time job, ever since I was a child, I had the desire to do one of three things professionally - pro sports, writing about pro sports, or being a radio talk show host. This website is where I pretend to do the latter two, and when I'm out pretending to do the former, I listen to podcasts, think about topics, and pursue my wild dream of someday, at some event, in either running, biking, or skiing, wearing a team USA uniform. This website contains articles, podcasts, pictures, and journal entries that have to do with my passion and involvement in endurance sports. Our flagship project is the Seder Skier Podcast, which talks mostly about nordic skiing and attempts to interview influential individuals in the ski world. I also rant about the Big 4 sports, with a lean towards Minnesota teams (Vikings, Twins, Twolves, and MN Distance Running). I sometimes try to write Sports Illustrated like 'feature' articles about athletes as well. In addition to a focus on sports, you will find the occasional article or show that discusses the intersection of theology and society ...which is ...obviously everywhere. We place these in our Skieologians podcast. The heading at the top of my homepage reads, "Search for Truth. Play with purpose. Strive for success." It is the underlying theme for my coaching philosophy, which can be downloaded from this site. Basically, I'm always looking to search for the truth in my pursuit of knowledge, whether that is knowledge regarding the best methods for waxing skis, training a quarter miler, or defending my Christian apologetic. Searching implies a dedicated pursuit for knowledge, and that is what I'm about and what this site is about, even if it is simply for providing viewers with an accurate description of a product. Play with purpose has to do with living out our passions because they are fun. I ski because its fun. I play music and teach young kids because there is joy in it. This blog is about celebrating the joy and fun that inherently exists in the pursuit of excellence and in the activities themselves. Finally, strive for success is built on the principle that true success is the realization that we gave 100% effort to become the best that we could possible be. It requires 100% in preparation, competition, reflection, mental effort, etc. If something is worth doing, I believe it is worth doing with that level of effort. Someday, I hope to race the Visma Classics - the entire season, wear a Team USA singlet, and have a job that involves writing or talking about sports or theology all day. If you know of any body I can reach out to to help me accomplish these goals, please email me at

2 thoughts on “Cross Country Collections: Mount Rushmore of Distance Running

  1. What about Daniel Komen. 7:20 3k besides Hicham El Guerrouj no one else is within 5 seconds of that world record. He did nothing else for the sport that I’m aware of, but he ran super fast. Kiphoge seems like he should be mentioned somewhere…he might be the GOAT and he’s been front and center promoting the sport with his sub-2 attempts. Also, he just seems like a really cool guy – very down to earth and well liked. Maybe have a section for the tarahumara – just throwing it out there haha.


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