Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

Racing Past - Articles - 1950s

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Elliott v Lincoln v Delany (1958)
Great Races

Elliott v Lincoln v Delany Santry Mile, Dublin, August 6, 1958 Great Races # 12   Using the prestige of Ron Delany’s Olympic 1500 gold medal in Melbourne, Billy Morton, a 48-year-old optician who was secretary of Clonliffe Harriers, organised the building of Santry Stadium in Dublin. ...

Franz Stampfl

PROFILE:  FRANZ STAMPFL 1913-1995   Austrian-born Franz Stampfl was one of the leading coaches of the 1950s and 1960s. He developed his own interval-training system from Gerschler’s pioneering work. Stampfl’s system was used effectively by Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher in...

1954 Empire Games
Major Games

1954 EMPIRE GAMES VANCOUVER, CANADA, July 30-August 7     These games were the most famous of all the Empire (and later, Commonwealth) Games. The intriguing four-minute mile barrier had been finally broken in 1954, first by Roger Bannister and then by John Landy.  Now these two mil...

Chataway v Kuts (1954)
Great Races

Chataway v Kuts  5,000: KUTS V. CHATAWAY LONDON, 13 OCTOBER 1954 Great Races # 10   This famous 5,000 race took place during an international meet between London and Moscow at the White City Stadium in London. It was the first visit by a Russian team since 1878. These were the days be...

Mihaly Igloi

PROFILE: MIHALY IGLOI   1908-1998    This celebrated Hungarian coach started his track career as a pole vaulter before becoming a successful 1500 runner.  He had several Hungarian titles to his name and competed in the 1936 Olympic 1,500. Furthermore, he was a member of the Hu...

Emil Zatopek

PROFILE: EMIL ZATOPEK  1922-2000          The word legendary is overused in journalism, but it is surely an appropriate adjective to describe this great Czech runner. It would also be appropriate to say that he was universally admired and respected. Going to see him ...

Pirie v Kuts (10,000, 1956)
Great Races

Pirie v Kuts Olympic 10,000, Melbourne, 1956 Great Races # 11    This epic 1956 distance race featured a classic struggle between a front runner and a fast finisher. Although the race was an Olympic final, there were only two runners in contention almost from the gun. Vladimir Kuts and...

1958 Empire Games
Major Games

EMPIRE GAMES   Cardiff, Wales, July 18-26, 1958.   On the new En Tout-Cas track in Cardiff, Australian and New Zealand runners dominated the distance events, winning all the races. Foremost was 20-year-old Elliott’s impressive 880-Mile double. But emerging longer distance runner D...

Derek Ibbotson

PROFILE: DEREK IBBOTSON b. 1932    Huddersfield-born Derek Ibbotson personifies Yorkshire grit. Not blessed with the basic talent of some of his rivals, he more than made up for this with his determination and courage.  I have an enduring vision of him training with Alan Simpson at ...

Chepkwony, Anentia and Maiyoro: The First Kenyan Runners

Chepkwony, Anentia and Maiyoro: The First Kenyan Runners   Kenyan runners first appeared on the international running scene in the mid-1950s. Since Kenya was at that time a British colony, it was natural that these Kenyan runners initially competed in Britain and in the Empire Games. Laz...


ProfileGreat RacesMajor Games1960s