Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

Articles / 1960s

Tom Farrell Profile  b. January 18, 19445’7”/1.70, 140lbs/63.5kg  Tom Farrell testifies to the Senate Commerce Committee in 1965.When American 800-runnerTom Farrell arrived at Mexico City for the 1968 Olympics, he believed he was going to win. He had good reasons for this belief. He was in the form of his life and in the US trials he had just had a comfortable win in a PB 1:46.5, the fastest altitude time in the world so far that year. And with good finishing speed, he had confidence from winning many important races in the US. He also brought Olympic experience, having run a creditable fifth in the previous Olympics in Tokyo when only 20 years old.

Volodalen Training Camp in the 1960s   As altitude training became increasingly de rigueur in the late 1960s, serious distance runners began to choose the high mountains for their intensive training. Before this change, there were a few popular training camps that were closer to sea level. One of the most celebrated was Percy Cerutty’s Portsea Camp in Australia. Britain developed camps at Timsbury Manor and Merthyr Mawr. Sweden had two: one outside Stockholm called Boson and one further north in Jamtland, Volodalen.