Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

About John Cobley

I ran regularly for 44 years and competed for the first ten of them. Running became a passion at school. When 15, I joined Brighton Athletic Club in 1958. I was an average club runner; my highest running achievement was winning the Sussex 6-Mile title in 1966. I ran with Brighton AC for ten years until I was awarded a track scholarship at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA. In 1969, when my track scholarship was lost because of a new NCAA age rule, I continued to run for pleasure. It was then that my interest in journalism began. After moving permanently to Western Canada in 1972, I continued to run and write. In 1987, after publishing in various running magazines around the world, I was appointed Editor of the BC Athletics bi-monthly magazine, a job that lasted 13 years. The final step in my track journalism career was to publish a collection of my interviews: Winning Canadian Runners. I was able to enjoy running until almost my 60th birthday, when injuries became too frequent. Now retired from work and living in Sidney BC, I am enjoying researching the history of competitive running--as well as reading, listening to jazz and classical music, and translating Russian poetry. I also walk my young golden retriever  Maggs four times a day.

About Bob Phillips

Bob Phillips has followed athletics as a fan and a journalist for some 60 years. He was a youthful spectator at the 1958 Commonwealth Games, worked for the prestigious “World Sports” monthly magazine, and was for 17 years a member of the BBC Radio athletics commentary team, covering all major events worldwide. He has also reported or broadcast on basketball, cricket, cycling, hockey, rugby football and swimming, among other sports  He has written half-a-dozen books on sports history, including the first English-language biography of Emil Zátopek, and his account of the 1948 London Olympics was described by the distinguished sports columnist, Frank Keating, as “unputdownable”. He is the editor of the quarterly journal, “Track Stats”, published by the National Union of Track Statisticians in the UK, and contributes articles to the ATFS International Athletics Annual and other publications. As an active competitor of consistently modest ability, he missed breaking four minutes for the mile by 22.9 seconds and in his further declining years ran 13 marathons, including the London Marathon twice, and took part in more than 60 time-trial cycle races. He and his wife live in a village in South West France.