Pre once held every U.S. track record from 2,000m to 10,000m. However, he will probably be remembered most for his 5,000m at the 1972 Olympics in Munich (as seen above). First, it was the Olympics, and second, the race was immortalized in the popular running movie Without Limits.
What if Pre had run differently? Nowadays, Olympic middle and long-distance races are extremely slow (on a relative basis) with blazing fast finishes. For example, check out Mo Farah and Galen Rupp below.
Going out in front usually means you lose. In fact, breaking with more than 400m to go (in Munich, Pre went with a mile to go) usually means you lose. What if Pre had sat back? What if he had tried to outkick Viren and Gammoudi? Could he have won?
A final thought on the subject: When Pre finished fourth in Munich, he ran 13:28 – Mo Farah won gold in London running 13:41.