Donald ("Don") Franklin Kardong (born December 22, 1948) is a noted runner and author from the United States; he finished a close fourth in the marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, just three seconds behind the bronze medal winner.[1][2]

Don Kardong
Personal information
Full nameDonald Franklin Kardong
Nationality United States
Born (1948-12-22) December 22, 1948 (age 71)
SportLong-distance running
Event(s)Marathon, 5,000 meters
College teamStanford
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals1976 Marathon (4th)

Kardong graduated from prestigious college-prep school, Seattle Prep in 1967, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford University in 1971, and, in 1974, another bachelor's degree in English and a teaching certificate from the University of Washington in Seattle. He then taught school in Spokane from 1974-1977 at Loma Vista Elementary. From 1977 to 1986, Kardong owned and operated a retail running store in Spokane; he founded the Lilac Bloomsday Run (12 km (7.5 mi)) in 1977.[3][4][5]

In college at Stanford, Kardong ran primarily the 5000 meters (3.1 miles).[6]

As a journalist and author, Kardong was a contributing editor for Running magazine from 1980 to 1983, and a contributing editor (1983–1985) and senior writer (1985–1987) for The Runner magazine. Since 1987, Kardong has been a contributing writer for Runner's World magazine.

Kardong was president of the Road Runners Club of America from 1996 to 2000. He served as executive director of the Children’s Museum of Spokane from 2002 to 2004, and as race director of the Bloomsday run since then.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1972 West Valley Marathon San Mateo, CA 1st Marathon 2:18:06
1976 Peachtree Road Race Atlanta, Georgia 1st 10K    29:14
1976 Olympic Games Montréal, Canada 4th Marathon 2:11:15
1978 Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:17:05


  • Thirty Phone Booths to Boston: Tales of a Wayward Runner (Macmillan Co., New York, 1985, selected an editor's choice of the American Library Association)
  • Bloomsday: A City In Motion (Cowles Publishing, Spokane, WA, 1989)
  • Hills, Hawgs and Ho Chi Minh (Keokee Co. Publishing, Sandpoint, ID, 1996)

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Olympics: Saturday's results". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). August 1, 1976. p. 4B.
  2. ^ Payne, Bob (August 1, 1976). "Kardong: tired, happy, and close creation". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. D1.
  3. ^ Payne, Bob (March 15, 1977). "Lilac Bloomsday Run - Kardong creation". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 17.
  4. ^ Payne, Bob (May 1, 1977). "It's 'Bloomsday' – and Spokane's ready to run". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. D1.
  5. ^ Payne, Bob (May 2, 1977). "Horde of runners captures Spokane". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 1.
  6. ^ Kardong, Don (2003). "Shorter, Rodgers, and Who?". In Kislevitz, Gail Waesche (ed.). The Spirit of the Marathon: What to Expect in Your First Marathon and How to Run Them the Rest of Your Life. Halcottsville, New York: Breakaway Books. pp. 197–203. ISBN 978-1-891369-36-0.