Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

Racing Past - Articles - Profile

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Bob Schul

Bob Schul: Profile   b. 1938   American Bob Schul is best known for his stylish and confident win in the 1964 Olympic 5,000 in Tokyo. He also ran one WR (Two Miles), set five American records and won three American titles. His achievements are all the more remarkable because he suffered...

Albie Thomas

Albie Thomas:  Profile  1935-2013 When 21-year-old Albie Thomas of Australia burst on to the international scene with  a fifth place in the 1956 Olympic 5,000, coach Percy Cerutty considered him the “best runner, technically speaking, in the world today.” (...

Jim Ryun

PROFILE:  JIM RYUN b. 1947   Once every generation or so, a prodigy appears on the running scene with a talent far above his contemporaries. American Jim Ryun was one such prodigy. At 17 he broke the 4-min barrier and represented the USA in the 1964 Olympics. At 18 he ran 3:55.3, breaki...

Ron Hill: Part One

Ron Hill Profile: Part One b. Sept 25, 1938    (This is by far the longest profile I have written. I have tried to keep it brief, but there is so much material to cover. Much of the information here comes from Ron Hill’s wonderful autobiography The Long Hard Road, Part One and Part...

Ron Hill: Part Two

Ron Hill Profile: Part Two   b. Sept 25, 1938       1969: Hill (2) wins 10,000 against USA. Ron Hill’s seventh place in the 1968 Olympic 10,000 final was his first good performance in a major games. After disappointments in the 1962 Euros, t...

Stan Eldon

Stan Eldon Profile  b.  1936      The British distance-running scene was already at a pinnacle in the mid 1950s, with such stars as Pirie, Chataway, Ibbotson and Sando. So when Stan Eldon suddenly appeared on the scene in 1958, it was quite a surprise to see ...

Alan Simpson

Profile:  Alan Simpson b. 1940   Alan Simpson was one of the most successful 1,500 runners during the 1960s. In his prime this fierce competitor rarely lost a race. He had an amazingly successful record in the two-a-side international competitions that were very popular at that time, wi...

Ralph Doubell

RALPH DOUBELL PROFILE   b. 1945    Perfection is an overused word, but few would disagree that on October 15, 1968, Ralph Doubell achieved perfection in Mexico City. The 23-year-old Australian not only ran a tactically perfect 800 race but also won an Olympic gold medal in a world-...

Harald Norpoth

Profile:  Harald Norpoth   b. 1942  Beginnings   Between 1964 and 1973, Harald Norpoth was a dominant force in international middle-distance running. Combining stamina with a punishing finishing kick, he won more than three-quarters of his outdoor track races. Alt...

The Cold War Track Series

The Cold War Track Series 1958-1965   At the height of the cold war, the USA and USSR engaged in a series of dual track meets that saw some of the most intense competition in the whole history of the sport. Sports Illustrated came to regard this almost annual meet as “The most important...


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