Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Herb Ellliott's WR mile, 61 years ago today.
    #1
    I'm astonished to realize that his great mile record was 61 years ago. It was also the first time that a sixth-place finisher had run under 4 minutes.
    A few years later, I went to Dublin to study medicine, and I was excited to see the Stadium out among the cow pastures as I rode the bus from the airport into town!
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    #2
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    Sixty-one years ago, I didn't even know who Herb Elliott was, but that all changed two years later when I watched him on CBS winning the Olympic gold medal in the 1,500. He definitely was one of the great ones.
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    #3
    I was an aspiring miler ( and remained aspiring throughout my competition days), but I can still remember having been amazed that Elliot dropped the WR by about 2.5 seconds in that race! By today's standards, his time of 3:54.5 doesn't seem so special, but that was an innocent age in so many ways. For example, Performance Enhancing meant eating raw oats laced with dates, raisins, and bananas for breakfast. And, in those days, Australian athletes travelled through Europe basically as backpackers--- perhaps, in retrospect, not an entirely bad thing?
    At the time of the WR, television had only recently appeared in my area, and I didn't see either the 1958 WR nor the OG 1500m until fairly recently, when YouTube became available.
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    #4
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    Yes, Dejango, I too was an aspiring miler in 1958 and don't remember hearing or seeing anything about Herb Elliott's WR in 1958, like DoubleRBar.
    Over the next three years, however, I found myself running interval sprints up a long steep hill, running 440 intervals on Lake Michigan's sandy beaches, and putting in an 8-10 mile run on Sundays. My coach was taking the words of Percy Cerutty to heart to all of us on the high school team.

    As a result I remember watching Herb Elliotts's 1960 1500 meter victory from Rome on our black and white TV on WBBM-TV Channel 2 with I believe Bud Palmer and maybe a young Jim McKAy going crazy when Elliott took off with his kick.

    To this day Herb Elliott is my role model and hero. He and I share two unique accomplishments in our lives which opened my life's path to who and where I am today.

    I recommend that everyone read his autobiography: Herb Elliott; The Golden Mile as told by Alan Trengrove (1961).
    Last edited by midwestfan; 08-07-2019 at 10:14 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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    #5
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    Good book, midwestfan. I was very lucky to have met Elliott a couple of times and I will always remember him as a very friendly and humble person.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleRBar View Post
    Good book, midwestfan. I was very lucky to have met Elliott a couple of times and I will always remember him as a very friendly and humble person.
    Yes, except when he was on the starting line! Actually, 1958 was his greatest year. He never got up to the same level in 1960 despite his 3,35.6 in the OG. In 1958 he even won the Commonwealth 800 ahead of Brian Hewson and Mike Rawson. He barely ran in 1959 and throughout 1960 he struggled to get up to his 1958 level. He was my favourite miler.
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    #7
    His autobiography describes his struggles to return to top form prior to the 1960 OGs. By then, he had a family, and was preparing to move all of them to Cambridge, where he studied after his Olympic championship.
    A few years ago, my Australian friends moved to Portsea, where Cerutty had his famed training camp, and I saw many of the places that Elliot described in his autobiography, including The Oval, which was just a short walk from my friends' house, and which was used by Cerutty as a place for race practice prior to important races.
    Most of you are better than I am at converting 1500m to mile times, but I'm guessing that his 1500m time at Rome would equate to roughly 3:53 for the mile!
    If I'm not mistaken, he came to live somewhere in the US for a year or two while he was with Puma.
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    #8
    Elliott at his peak vs Snell at his peak - who wins (1500/mile)?
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    #9
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    The 1967 Ryun would have beat them both ..
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    #10
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    Elliott against Snell....I would go with Elliott. I agree with Conor Dary that Ryun beats them both.
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