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  • #46
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    I'm sure this would make a good investigation, but if Schul and Mills couldn't do it, Lindgren couldn't. The masses noticed these guys, B & S, having marathon success.
    the running boom was in major blossom before Pre ever laced on a pair of shoes for Oregon.

    It was booming enough that in the fall of '69 Bob Anderson moved his Runner's World operation from Kansas to California.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by gh View Post
      the running boom was in major blossom before Pre ever laced on a pair of shoes for Oregon.
      It was booming enough that in the fall of '69 Bob Anderson moved his Runner's World operation from Kansas to California.
      Hmm, I've always heard of it as the 70s running boom and Wiki agrees.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_boom_of_the_1970s

      That said, I do remember that in the Summer of '69 (song allusion!) when I was prepping to go to college, 'jogging' (ugh) was already 'a thing'.

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      • #48
        I lived in Wichita, KS 1955-67. After a 12 year hiatus, I resumed running at age 35 in 1966, the dawn of the Jim Ryun era. I do not recall that running was that big a deal then and there. My motivation was that my field duties had segued into more sedentary office duties.

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        • #49
          I was too young to have been a Pre fan while he was alive. I was 10 when I watched him on TV in the Munich 5000. I seem to remember hearing that he didn't have a kick to match that of some others in the field and that his best chance to win (as US TV hoped for) was to set a hard pace much of the way. I kept wondering why he hadn't done that as the mile mark then 3K mark ticked by.

          He was THE hero for one of my (eventual) closest running buddies, who was a high school senior in 1973 (Indiana state 2 mile champ that year). He was so torn up when Pre died that he considered getting a bus ticket out to Oregon for the memorial service. When we were in Eugene for the 1988 NCAA meet (he was assistant coaching at Purdue, I was out west on an extended climbing trip before starting my internship/residency), we had to, at his behest, go to the Eugene public library and look at the microfilm of the Register-Guard from the day or two after his death. Had to find his address and drive by, had to have a beer at whatever bar he had worked at. The requisite visit to Pre's Rock. At the Pre Classic in 2010, we sat about 30[' away from Elfriede Prefontaine and my buddy went over after the meet and introduced himself and told her how her son had been a huge inspiration to him while he was training and competing in high school. I missed the haj to Coos Bay on rest day #1 during the 2012 OT (I got to Eugene on rest day #2) but that included the childhood home, Marshfield High, the grave. I think that's about all.

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          • #50
            Yes, the "running boom" in the United States was way ahead of Prefontaine. Although you can't really pinpoint a specific individual , I like to think that the Los Angeles Track Club, in the very early 1960's, had a lot to do with the American running boom. This club's success, I believe, was a great role model for many high school runners, especially in Southern California. Southern California was already the center of track & field in the U.S. and it only got bigger there. In time, the center of the sport moved north to the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually to Eugene, Oregon where this "running boom" became much more public. I imagine there might be several versions of this story.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by gh View Post

              the running boom was in major blossom before Pre ever laced on a pair of shoes for Oregon.

              It was booming enough that in the fall of '69 Bob Anderson moved his Runner's World operation from Kansas to California.
              I think I read somewhere that it was claimed that it was Lydiard who was the spark that lit the US running boom in the 1960s.

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              • #52
                A couple of thoughts. I've read "Pre" and everything else that has come along, and have watched "Fire on the Track" and have my own copy of the BBC coverage of the Munich 5K and 10K, and partial videos of Montreal and Moscow. He was one of our country's greatest distance runners, but I get the puzzlement of non-Americans over why he is such a legend here. One thing that struck me when reading the Pre Chronicles last year was how there was almost always a complaint, small or not so small, or excuse, small or not so small, after his races. Sore calves. Fatigue, Jet lag. Sore throat. Too much racing. Not enough racing. Not enough good training. Common cold. There was almost never "man, I had a fantastic race!!!" Maybe that's because he always wanted to be the best , to be better than himself, to reach perfection. Dunno, but it just struck me, what with reading all those TAFNEWS excerpts in such a short time.

                The other thing, it seems like his 27:43 in Eugene in 1974 doesn't get enough attention, as a bellwether for what potential he still had in him. Solo run from lap five or six, sixth fastest time in history. Great times on the track that spring and early summer, then that ill-fated mile on field-burning day in Eugene put paid to anything good on his second trip to Europe late that summer. Then, well, 1975. That 27:43, home track or not, foreign competition or not, he still had to run it and I think it might have spoken of a good bit more in the tank. Beating Viren in Montreal? Probably not. But a 10K silver? Certainly possible. A 10K WR before Rono ran 27:22? Who knows.

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                • #53
                  I'd buy that some awareness of running as a good thing took hold in the 1960s, maybe "Aerobics" by Ken Cooper (1968) and fun-runs that Bowerman started having in Eugene being early touchstones, but I'd vote for the mid-1970s as the time the running "boom" took off. I ran in the 3rd Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon in late April 1976 and only 500 people ran it. A few years later it was 5000. Running shoes were pretty crappy as of 1975 when I started out. By 1979 or 1980 they had improved tons. Shorter and Rodgers winning marathons contributed. Running stores were non-existent in the early '70s, then the Athletic Attic and Athlete's Foot came along, as did mom and pop running stores. That was 1976-78 in Louisville. But maybe we were a hick town. :-)
                  Last edited by DrJay; 02-01-2021, 07:35 PM.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Tuariki View Post

                    I think I read somewhere that it was claimed that it was Lydiard who was the spark that lit the US running boom in the 1960s.
                    Kenny Moore's biography, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, recounts the story of how Bowerman visited Lydiard in 1963 and imported to the U.S. the idea of jogging being a good activity for everyone.

                    This column is a good summary: https://brainstormnw.com/archive/jun06_feature.html

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by wamego relays champ View Post
                      Kenny Moore's biography, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, recounts the story of how Bowerman visited Lydiard in 1963 and imported to the U.S. the idea of jogging being a good activity for everyone.
                      My favorite "jogging" anecdote was about John Walker. Supposedly in the mid-70s, at the peak of his career, he was doing intervals at the UCLA track. Some other guy was also doing intervals and was like a 4:30 miler, so a pretty good runner, but not world class. Walker asked him, "Do you mind doing your jogging in the outer lanes?"

                      Wish I coulda jogged at 4:30 pace.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by DoubleRBar View Post
                        Yes, the "running boom" in the United States was way ahead of Prefontaine. Although you can't really pinpoint a specific individual , I like to think that the Los Angeles Track Club, in the very early 1960's, had a lot to do with the American running boom. This club's success, I believe, was a great role model for many high school runners, especially in Southern California. Southern California was already the center of track & field in the U.S. and it only got bigger there. In time, the center of the sport moved north to the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually to Eugene, Oregon where this "running boom" became much more public. I imagine there might be several versions of this story.
                        Gary Corbitt can be a great source of info for the early times of road running/racing in the NYC area even back to the late 1950's. As I mentioned earlier, the boom had already started but Shorter's win in Munich and making it look like anyone could run like that followed by Rodgers golly gee persona helped push the boom out to the masses.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by DrJay View Post

                          The other thing, it seems like his 27:43 in Eugene in 1974 doesn't get enough attention, as a bellwether for what potential he still had in him. Solo run from lap five or six, sixth fastest time in history. Great times on the track that spring and early summer, then that ill-fated mile on field-burning day in Eugene put paid to anything good on his second trip to Europe late that summer. Then, well, 1975. That 27:43, home track or not, foreign competition or not, he still had to run it and I think it might have spoken of a good bit more in the tank. Beating Viren in Montreal? Probably not. But a 10K silver? Certainly possible. A 10K WR before Rono ran 27:22? Who knows.
                          I agree that his future would have been best served in the 10,000m in terms of winning a major competition (aka The Olympics at the time). He wouldn't have been able to run with the guys on the last lap of the '76 5000m final although I guess he could have made it a different type of race which still likely results in someone else winning the race although perhaps not Viren. In the 10,000m he wouldn't beat Viren but he may have out Lopes'd Lopes and I think would be a virtual lock for the bronze if not silver.

                          A Shorter/Pre run over 10,000m would have been great to see in 74/75.

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                          • #58
                            I just bought a copy of Kenny Moore's biography of Bowerman (and after it arrived only 37 hours after I ordered it -- and 4 days earlier than scheduled --I've decided we should put Amazon in charge of vaccine distribution. There are some passages that I found especially relevant to some of the discussion of Pre in this thread.

                            The first was a story of Pre's first meeting Dellinger. Dellinger had a photo of himself on the Tokyo victory stand on the wall, and Pre went ballistic upon seeing Norpoth in the picture. "He's a smart runner," said Dellinger of Norpoth. "In fact, I like to think that picture is of the three smartest guys in the race." Pre countered, "I would have run like Clarke." "Notice," said Dellinger, "Clarke is not in picture." Thus began Dellinger and Bowerman's attempt to temper Pre's love of front running.

                            Although Pre often talked of leading races all the way, Dellinger and Bowerman apparently did get him to see that wasn't the best plan for the Olympics. Moore repeatedly refers to the fact that Pre's Munich race plan called for him to take the lead with 4 laps with go and push hard all the rest of the way. So he did exactly what was planned in the Olympic final, in terms of strategy.

                            It seems to me that, though Pre was cocky, at least part of that cockiness came from being naive. Moore describes a tram trip back to the hotel after Pre had broken the American Record in the 3000 (7:44.2) the day after running a 3:39.4 1500 (for 2nd behind Pekka Vasala). "I'm gonna kill them all [in the Olympic 5000]," he exclaimed. Moore, interestingly, asked if he had thought that some "wily vet" like Mohamed Gamoudi was lying low, much like Dellinger before Tokyo. Pre, of course, dismissed the possibility.

                            Shortly after this thread began, I watched the Olympic 5000 again (a British broadcast version), and, as Pre took the lead, the announcer intoned, "He's inexperienced enough not to know just how good the others are."

                            In the chapter following the one describing the Olympic 5000, Moore describes a fall of 1972 conversation between in which Bowerman asked Pre if, in retrospect, he thought their agreed-upon strategy had been wise. Bowerman wondered aloud if Pre should have gone hard for the last 2 miles. Pre replied that if he had done that, he would have been "vulnerable at the end, just like a Ron Clarke." Pre noted there wasn't much he could have done differently

                            Except run for third, added Bowerman. "Yeah, right. No chance of that," was Pre's reply. The video of the race bears this out. Clearly, Pre was running only for gold (until, maybe, with Viren disappearing down the homestretch, he comes off the final turn and looks behind, evidently to see how far back 4th place is.)"

                            But even that gold or nothing attitude changed. I remember one interview, in TFN I think, in 74 or 75, in which he talked of getting "a medal" in Montreal (not the medal). And he did indicate in a couple of interviews that the 10,000 would be the race he would be focusing on in the future.

                            If you've never read Kenny Moore's bio of Bowerman, buy it. I highly recommend it.


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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Alan Sigmon View Post
                              I've decided we should put Amazon in charge of vaccine distribution.
                              They actually volunteered to help over a week ago.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                My primary touchstones for the development of the 70/80s US running boom filter down to three:

                                1. Kenneth Cooper's Aerobic book - making health a major motivator for people to jog - 1968
                                2. Frank Shorter's win in Munich - 1972
                                3. Jim Fixx's The Complete Book of Running - 1976

                                Runners World was a major component of keeping running/jogging folks motivated but I think the widespread popularity of the books by Cooper and Fixx did a lot more to develop new joggers.

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