Henry Marsh (runner)

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Henry Dinwoodey Marsh (born March 15, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a retired runner from the United States, who made four U.S. Olympic teams and represented his native country in the men's 3,000 meter Steeplechase in three Summer Olympics, from 1976 through 1988.


Marsh qualified for the 1980 US Olympic team but was unable to compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. He did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[1] Track & Field News ranked him the number one steeplechaser in the world for 1981, 1982, and 1985. Moreover, he was world ranked (i.e., top 10) in this event for 12 consecutive years, 1977-1988. Marsh broke the American Record for the steeplechase on four different occasions: 8:21.55 (July 5, 1977), 8:15.68 (June 28, 1980), 8:12.37 (August 17, 1983), and 8:09.17 (August 28, 1985); the last mark lasted almost 21 years until Daniel Lincoln ran 8:08.82 in Rome on July 14, 2006.[2][3]

During the 1984 Olympic Games, Marsh entered the event with a #2 world ranking. On race day for the 3,000 meter steeplechase finals, Marsh finished fourth (losing out on the bronze medal to teammate Brian Diemer by only 0.19 seconds), then collapsed to the track and was carried out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a gurney. In 1985 Marsh joined the sub-4 minute group of milers with a 3:59.31 run at Bern, Switzerland on August 16.

Marsh was the American champion in the steeplechase nine times (1978, 1979, 1981–1987) and in 1983 received the Glenn Cunningham Award as the best distance runner in America.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Marsh was a co-founder of MonaVie, a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that folded in 2015. He served as executive vice-president and later as the company's Vice Chairman of the Board. He is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[6] He spent two years on mission in Brazil.[7] In a 2008, the Sacramento Bee noted that Marsh was a major financial supporter (two donations totalling $90,000) of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage rights.[8]


All results regarding 3000 metres steeplechase.

  • 9-time US Champion 1978-1979, 1981-1987 (2nd in 1980)
  • 2-time US Olympic Trials winner 1980 & 1984 (2nd in 1976 & 1988)
Representing  United States
Year Tournament Venue Result Time
1976 Olympic Games Montreal, Quebec, Canada 10th 8:23.99
1979 Pan American Games San Juan, Puerto Rico 1st 8:43.6
World Cup Montreal, Canada 4th 8:30.09
1981 World Cup Rome, Italy DISQ (8:19.61)
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 8th 8:20.45
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, California, United States 4th 8:14.25
1985 World Cup Canberra, Australia 2nd 8:39.55
1986 Goodwill Games Moscow, Russia 2nd 8:23.92
1987 Pan American Games Indianapolis, United States 2nd 8:23.77
World Championships Rome, Italy 6th 8:17.78
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 6th 8:14.39


  • Marsh originally won the 1981 World Cup title but was disqualified for failing to clear the penultimate water jump.
  • The US Olympic trials of 1976-1988, were a separate event from the US Championships.


  1. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-10-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Mormon Olympians Archived 2008-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ "Biggest supporters of Prop 8". Sacramento Bee. November 13, 2008. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Italy Mariano Scartezzini
Men's 3.000m Steeple Best Year Performance
1982 — 1983
Succeeded by
France Joseph Mahmoud
Preceded by
France Joseph Mahmoud
Men's 3.000m Steeple Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Belgium William Van Dijck