Only 75 runners, and more than half of those hadn’t trained well enough to finish.
(LDL, Feb. 1960)
Racism gives people who aren’t racists an easy advantage. It worked for the Dodgers in the 40′s and 50′s and it worked for Southern Illinois in 1960 when they won the National AAU Junior XC Championship:
Hartzog was known for standing up to racism, and for his success. He never lost a conference meet while at SIU, and he was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1984. His coaching helped 10 of his athletes make the US Olympic Team.
Hartzog retired in 1984. SIU named their track after him and the USA Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association picked Hartzog for their Hall of Fame in 2007.
(LDL, Feb. 1961)
June 16th will be the 52nd running of the Mount Washington Road Race. The race was first held in the 30′s, then it was revived in 1961. Here’s an ad for the ’61 edition:
There were 79 finishers in 1961. I wonder how many took advantage of the free bed space?
(LDL, Aug. 1961)
50 years ago, before women were even allowed to run in distance races, people discussed whether running with men would help women run faster:
Still can’t figure out why this is a problem. You always have someone to pace you (unless you’re already winning), but you still have to do the running. And why is this only a problem for women? Why is it OK for men’s races to hire rabbits? How come no one worries that I might run faster by pacing off of faster runners?
(LDL, Feb. 1961)
Looking back though old running magazines helps me see how things have changed, but a big part of the fun of is seeing how some things keep coming back. Barefoot running, for instance:
Hyde is now Saucony, as the company was renamed after their popular running shoe brand in 1998. They were just purchased by Wolverine, the latest of a long string of owners for the brand.
(LDL, Aug. 1961, May 1964)
John Twomey was 32 at the time this was published:
He was right. Today, it’s hard to get into some races, in large part because of all the old runners (like me!).
There was no money in running then, even for champions, so of course John didn’t retire from everything. He went on to success in the family grain elevator business, which allowed him to support his Illinois community through the Twomey Foundation.
(LDL, Feb. 1956)
Joe Henderson has done a ton of writing on running over the years, including a long stint as editor of Runner’s World and a column for Marathon & Beyond. He’s a famous proponent of “long slow distance” (LSD) running, something I picked up on when I started running, first as an excuse to lounge through my long runs, then as an essential part of my continuing survival as a distance runner.
I recently found this article by a 17-year old Joe, which I figured had to be his first:
Joe’s retired, but he still posts articles from his archives weekly on his web site. I emailed Joe, and he wrote back to confirm that, “The LDL note was my first appearance nationally. However, I began reporting high school sports for a local newspaper (in Iowa) in fall 1960.”
If you want to read more, Joe’s re-published many of his works in paper and as $2.99 ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and as PDFs. I just bought a copy of Starting Lines, volume one of his memoirs, which covers how he got started as a writer and runner.
(LDL, Feb. 1961)
Another look back to the days when women, those poor, delicate creatures, weren’t allowed to run long races. An entire lap? Two laps?! Too far!
Grace kept training while society changed. She was US champion in the 800 in 1959, and she’s won a number of age group championships since she began racing Master’s track in 1977, including a silver medal at the World Games in 1989.
In 2003, at age 69, she was quoted in the Boston Herald as saying, ”The older I get, I have fewer training partners. But I’ll never stop. When I was younger I had such a skinny body – I knew I’d never make it in Playboy, so I started running,” she joked. “To this day when I run I feel beautiful – exactly the same as 40 years ago.”
In addition to running, Grace is a retired college English professor and also a poet and editor of a literary journal. Her poetry includes a number of pieces on running, such as “Do We Need an Ambulance for Cross-Country?”.
(LDL, Feb. 1961)
After a day like today, when even the (real) world record holder crashed and burned, you’ll need this look back to 1964 for balance:
It was even colder when I ran in 2009, but that was New Year’s Day.
(Long Distance Log, May 1964)
This year, the Boston Marathon is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the marathon’s first official women runners. To commemorate that event, let’s go back even further, to the 1961 Manchester (CT) 5-Mile Race, for a glimpse of what things were like for women who wanted to run 50 years ago.
The race officials tried to keep the women out:
But some of them ran anyhow:
Here’s what the Feb. 1962 Long Distance Log had to say:
In the same issue, Jim Fields quotes the then-current AAU rule. In another sign of the times, his complaint is more about the grammar than the rule itself: