1. Jim King was a top ultrarunner, from California, back in the 1980s. As I recall, he won Western States multiple times back when WS was inadvertently only about 93 mile long.
2. Steve Warshawer was another top ultrarunner back in the 1980s. I remember one string of about four ultras he won in the 1986-87 Southern Ultra Grand Prix Series, in which he ran three course records. Today, in his 50s, he lives on a ranch in New Mexico and still runs the occasional ultra, still at the top of his age group.
3. Unlike Matt Mahoney, I wasn't there when Ann Trason and the Tarahumara raced at Leadville. However, that story is well-told in Born To Run. The Tarahumara seemed to regard Ann as a female witch. The fastest among the Tarahumara won the race against Ann in a course-record time that stood for many years.
Regarding the other question you posed above, the historical aspect of our sport has meaning in two ways:
1. Without that history, the sport would not exist today and we would all be poorer for that.
2. To those of us who were part of that history, it has helped shape and define our lives, and we are the richer for that.
Furtaw is the author of "Tales From Out There: The Barkley Marathons, the World's Toughest Trail Race."
As Ed so aptly states, those who were part of history shaped and defined our lives. We are all part of the timeline of life, so let's work to preserve the details of those who came before us and also lend our own positive mark to the events that transpire going forward.