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Who is Spivey after?

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  • Who is Spivey after?

    "We agreed to meet at 9:55 p.m. - 3:49.80 milers don't meet at 10. I arrived at 9:55, and he was already there - they're not late, either."

    http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=disp ... ormat=html

  • #2
    Re: Who is Spivey after?

    Haa, the life of the elite American miler. A sub 3:50 miler should be a millionaire judging by the American athletic pay scale. Heck, there are .260 hitters in the major league baseball making millions.
    BTW, Joe Falcon was the last American to break 3:50 not Spivey.

    Spivey has done something only 3 other Americans have ever done and yet he can walk around almost unnoticed.

    Obviously, those who follow distance running in this country belong to a small devoted cult.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Who is Spivey after?

      The article's right -- Falcon got his only sub-3:50 (3:49.31) at Oslo in 1990; Spivey ran 3:49.83 at Oslo in 1991. Spivey's PR (3:49.80) was set at Oslo in 1986.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Who is Spivey after?

        I know this is beating a dead horse, but why can't US milers today run 3:50 or under. Does it have something to do with training or motivation? Twelve years is a long time for the US not to have a 3:49 miler.
        I don't think the NCAA schedule back then was any different that it is today. So you can't really use the over-training argument anymore.
        It is not jut the mile but every distance event the US is suffering. Nobody in the US seems to be able to run a steeplechase in under 8:15 or a 5000 meters under 13:15. Those times are essential to be competitive with the worlds best. A 13:30 5000meters will not do anything in international competition.
        Maybe US runners are too provincial, believing that winning the national championship or the NCAA's is of prime importance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Who is Spivey after?

          I stand corrected.

          Spivey deserves to be in the Track and Field hall of Fame. Judging by the number of times he broke 3:50 Spivey is probably the second best US miler ever after Scott.
          In his time of course Ryun is the most dominant US miler ever.

          Lets hope Webb runs well today.

          Comment


          • #6
            Money and the sport

            Running 3:49.83 in 1991 in Oslo is fast, but at the time, just one of many (3rd in the race).
            Running 3:50.59 in 1983 to finish 2nd in Oslo, put me 5th in the Track & Field USA rankings at the end of the season, behind Scott, Maree, Harbor and Byers. I was on $12,000 per year, and Nike raised my stipend with Athletics West to $18,000 in the fall of '83. Also clocked 13:19.24, just ahead of Jim Hill of the Sport Hill fame.
            In 1991, I was on contract for $5,000/year. 3:33 in Stockholm, 3:49 in Oslo, 3:50 in Lausanne and 3:52 in New York (108 head index) before injuring my right hip.
            How to run it? You have to prepare to be tired after the 800, not prepare for the first 800. Anyone can run 1:55 and sit in and look good. Can you run 57 for the third 400 and then wake up and compete over the last lap? The training must be made up more of pace work, and training while you are tired, then to do 3 x 400 in 52. So often, it is not opening laps that get you home fast. I remember reading El G's workouts of 10x400 in 55. NO faster. He said, I am trying to run 55-150-245 and then home for a WR. 57 was my objective.
            One workout in 1988/July, in 85 degree heat at 8pm, was 2x800 (5 mins recovery) in 1:53 and 1:51. A bit faster than 57 pace. Yet, in Koblenz, the rabbits were through in 54.5-1:51.0, and slowed then next 200 (29, or 2:20 at 1k). I yelled at Lewis Johnson (now of TV fame for sports) and Ken Washington to go faster! I had felt it slow. Rabbits dropped a few steps later, and I was on my own, 500m from the finish. I thought, when I hear the bell, I going to dig deep. But I heard a voice from the infield, and it said: "Jim, just relax." It was Seb Coe's voice, who had already run the 800 in 1:43. I relaxed instead of tightening, and ran 56 for my last 400 (2:49.0 at 1200m) for 3:31.01, my pr.
            If either of my coaches (1987-1997, Mike Durkin USA Olympian 1976-1980) or Ken Popejoy (2 sons running 14:40's for 3 miles, senior and sophomore this year) would have yelled it, I would not have listened. I thought, "Seb has run this fast before, he must know."

            Punchline: Nike's bonus structure was:
            Under 3:34.0 - $500
            Under 3:33.0 - $1000
            Under 3:32.0 - $1500
            Under 3:31.0 - $2000
            American Record - $2500

            Not sure what I spent the $1500 on. Probably bills in 1989. Although, from a purly business point of view, when Nike did not renew my contract at the 1988 value, or even 70% of that contract that was offered, it was a smart business decision: I was 28, missed the Olympic team - old and washed up. I think that is why I switched to Asics in 1989 for no money - only equipment. Think of it today though - 3:31 runner signs for $0. I look back and wonder myself today . . . but then, I am still on contact today with Asics. More of a family environment. I will be working the Asics New York City Marathon put on the NYCRR club Wednesday-Saturday this week.
            Stop by and say hello!
            js

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Money and the sport

              That was a really cool post. Thanks Jim.

              Comment


              • #8
                Finally!

                Why can't we get more posts like that?!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Finally!

                  Well, that could be the first world-class miler to post on this board.
                  The pay scale for distance running is minuscule in this country.
                  Hearing first hand accounts of elite races is always interesting.

                  A 3:49 mile in athletic ability is probably equal to hitting .340 in major league baseball.
                  It is conceivable that it will be another 5 years until an American breaks 3:50. For some reason 3:54 seems to be the cut time of today's top US milers.

                  It would be interesting to compare either Scott or Spivey's workouts to what Jason Lunn is doing today.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Finally!

                    Fascinating! Many thanks to to Mr. Spivey. It's wonderful hearing from someone who WAS THERE and knows what the heck they're talking about. Interesting, really, to see just how unrewarding it was to be a world-class miler back then. And we wonder why our current guys aren't more motivated to be at that level?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Who is Spivey after?

                      Thanks to Jim for the personal insights, but neither he, nor anyone else has answered the question posed at the beginning of this thread. I believe the original poster is asking about this, from the end of the article:

                      "That is, everything except what exactly he was doing in the area in the first place. That I promised to keep a secret.

                      Let's just say Spivey, who's now the head coach of the nationally ranked Vanderbilt women's cross country team, was on a recruiting trip. And it might not take being a 3:49.80 miler to figure out whom he's after. "

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                      • #12
                        Re: Who is Spivey after?

                        You didn't really expect him to answer that one did you?
                        why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Who is Spivey after?

                          >You didn't really expect him to answer that one
                          >did you?

                          Of course not but I figured that there might be a non 3:49:80 miler lurking somewhere out there that is from the area that might know who he is recruiting. Although if Jim is still out there, I'd be curious to know if he gets asked much if he has run a marathon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Finally!

                            It would be interesting to compare
                            >either Scott or Spivey's workouts to what Jason
                            >Lunn is doing today.

                            Gags and Spivey talk to each other often about workouts. Contact Gags and ask him about the workouys, you'll probably be surprised.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Money and the sport

                              Aw right, Jim Spivey! Thanks for the great post. As a 1500 Master's guy, I value the inspiration, and appreciate your enthusiasm.

                              Comment

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