Bill's Favorite Moment
When the artist, Andrew
Yelenak, first contacted Bill about doing this painting, he
asked him what part of that 1975 marathon he remembered best.
Bill said, "My favorite part
is my turning around the final corner at the top of the hill,
above the straight shot to the finish. There were numerous motorcycles
about me and people on each side of the street- but no other runners!
It still ranks as one of the most thrilling moments of my
From C. S. in Papillion, Nebraska
"I was blown away. The painting
is incredible and with the attention to detail, it makes you feel
as if you could be standing on the corner watching Bill fly by."
From K. H. in Kalispell, Montana
"I just received my order today,
and it's great. Billy's Breakthough is quite amazing in
person! I just love it! I like the media you used. You captured
the faces of everyone quite well, thus setting down the mood excellently!"
From K.C. in Minnesota
"Just sent you a note and moments
later the doorbell rings, it is the postman with my print......in
a word it is.....OUTSTANDING!! I was going to wait a little
while before having it framed, not sure I can."
From J.B. in Staten Island, New York
"Just wanted to let you know
I received your print in pristine mint condition and it is truly
a great work, right down to the GBTC T-shirt and Nike shoes.."
Nuts and Bolts
To see how this painting was created,
visit Andrew Yelenak's studio.
Was it the Shoes? The
A little known bit of trivia involves
the running shoes Bill wore that day. In March of 1975 Rodgers
placed an amazing 3rd in the World Cross-Country Championships
in Morocco. Based on that performance Steve Prefontaine,
representing the new Nike Athletic Shoe Company, sent Bill a brand
new pair of running shoes. According to Bill's brother Charlie,
"Pre apparently felt Bill was now worthy of a pair."
Read the letter Pre wrote.
Bill wore them in the 1975 Boston
Marathon because they were better than anything else he had. The
only problem was they were a little too big. Bill had to
stop once in the final miles to tighten the too large Nikes, yet
he still managed an American and Course record.