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  • Greatest Milers

    We know who # 1 is . Do you think Jim Ryun is top five all time ?

  • #2
    Re: Greatest Milers

    I think it's a stretch. Top 10, yes.
    I think it's silly (but people do it) to try to rank 1, 2, 3, etc. Better to clump the very best together. The top 5 would have to include Coe, El G, Elliott, Morceli, but then it gets fuzzier, with Cram (three Olympic finals, plus world champion), Snell, Walker, Bannister, Ryun, and Keino in the mix --
    Who knocked the WR down the most? Who was dominant in his era, but also considering the competition? Who won championships?

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    • #3
      Re: Greatest Milers

      With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the best.
      Steve Scott would be the highest ranking American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles than anyone in history. The only non-africans I would put in the top ten list would be Scott, Cram, and Walker.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Greatest Milers

        I think it's a stretch. Top 10, yes.
        I think it's silly (but people do it) to try to rank 1, 2, 3, etc. Better to clump the very best together. The top 5 would have to include Coe, El G, Elliott, Morceli, but then it gets fuzzier, with Cram (three Olympic finals, plus world champion), Snell, Walker, Bannister, Ryun, and Keino in the mix --
        Who knocked the WR down the most? Who was dominant in his era, but also considering the competition? Who won championships?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Greatest Milers

          Since there is no "official" rankings of the greatest milers, whether one thinks Jim Ryun should be in the top 5 is purely subjective and a subject tossed around with regularity on most track related boards.

          In no particular order, other names to be taken into consideration would be: Herb Elliot, Nouredine Morceli, Seb Coe, Peter Snell and Kip Keino. More than 5 already.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Greatest Milers

            frustrating.. so many great milers(etc.etc.), and no way to know who'd have won the 'time-machine' all-time superstars final. I do all-time top 10 rankings (as part of book I've been doing, but realistically just as hobby), and you just have to award a lot of ties. 'Grouping' them is the best you could do. Let's hope we can see a 'showdown' between El G and another 3:26-type runner next year or '05 WCh. Even then, having 2 WR-breakers in same race wouldn't change many minds as to all-time rankings.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Greatest Milers

              <With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the best.
              Steve Scott would be the highest ranking American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles than anyone in history. The only non-africans I would put in the top ten list would be Scott, Cram, and Walker.>

              This is scarcely fair to Ryun - he had two tremendous seasons 1966 and 1967, and he was totally unbeatable in those years, generally winning races by a two second margin or more. How much does longevity count against 2-3 great seasons? Where does Herb Elliott stand with only (at most) three good/outstanding seasons? (Unbeaten in career, of course).

              Amongst the (recent) non-Africans, I would rate Coe higher than Scott/Cram/Walker. He is
              the only person to win two Olympics golds in the 1500 m - Cram perhaps comes closest to him. Walker had great longevity, some great times (first sub 3:50 mile), but leaves something to be desired. His 1976 Oly win was scarcely convincing, just beating out an up and coming Ivo Van Damme. In many senses, his greatest race was the Christchurch 1974 (close) loss to Filbert Bayi.

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              • #8
                Re: Greatest Milers

                Walker also knocked the best part of 2 secs of the world mile record, hardly something to sneeze at, apart from elliot which other sub-four ecord holder has done that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Greatest Milers

                  How about Goglan ???

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                  • #10
                    Re: Greatest Milers

                    Who is the #1, that we know?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Greatest Milers

                      >With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the
                      >best.

                      Well, he's far from the fastest. But he definitely ran his best times without any type of 'aid' as is so prevalent over the last 15 years or so. His 2:46 last 1200 in his WR 1500 race is about as good as today's best can muster, so he's right there, just because he was so far ahead of his time.

                      In terms of records, titles, etc., probably Morceli and Coe at the top, but El G can grab that spot IF he wins in Athens. Elliot had very little time on the track compared to other greats, despite his records. His undefeated record is impressive and yet unimpressive at the same time, when one looks at how many races other athletes have put in over their careers. Ryun is probably the runner who most underachieved, considering feats like 36.4 for the last 300 in a 3:38 race (seen anyone capable of that lately? - probably only Morceli, another awesome finisher), negative splits in his 880 record, etc. Keino had a superb outing in Mexico City, and a long career. El G has been around awhile, and has his multiple world championships.

                      I don't think that the Oly's should be quite such a heavy factor in judging some of those considered to be the best, as they come around once every 4 years. The WC's have gone a long way toward giving fans a true yardstick with which to measure a runner's career.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Greatest Milers

                        >With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the
                        >best.
                        Steve Scott would be the highest ranking
                        >American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles
                        >than anyone in history. The only non-africans I
                        >would put in the top ten list would be Scott,
                        >Cram, and Walker.

                        Obviously, just looking at times is not the way to rank milers. Then you could just take the all-time lists.
                        Scott never held a world record, nor won a world championships. At least Ryun took the record down in sensational fashion. Scott's lengthy career at or near the top is commendable, and it looks like he'll remain at the top of the American list for a long time to come.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Greatest Milers

                          Remember Elliot, Snell, and Ryun ran their times on clay, grass, cinders. Your can only compare how they dominated (margin of victory, titles won) in their respective era's.
                          I feel Ryun ranks above Scott, because he won major races, medaled at OG, dominated his era, set world records.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Greatest Milers

                            <Walker also knocked the best part of 2 secs of the world mile record, hardly something to sneeze at, apart from elliot which other sub-four ecord holder has done that.>

                            When you look at the lowering of a mile record, you should consider the record vis-a-vis the 1500 m scene. When Walker lowered the mile record to sub 3:50, his time was intrinsically no better than Bayi's 1500 m time from Christchurch 1974. Walker's 3:49.4, lowered Bayi's (then) recent 3:51.0, which was definitely inferior to the 3;32.2 1500 m time. Elliott's 3:54.5 mile (Dublin 1958), lowered Ibbotson's recent (1957?) record by 2.7 sec. , and was at least 2 seconds superior to everything in the 1500 m until mid 1958.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Greatest Milers

                              >Remember Elliot, Snell, and Ryun ran their times
                              >on clay, grass, cinders. Your can only compare
                              >how they dominated (margin of victory, titles
                              >won) in their respective era's.

                              From runtrackdir.com, describing the track at Lillie Bridge:

                              "[It] was opened on 18th March 1869 as a 3 laps to the mile track with square corners around a cricket ground. . . The running track was reported to be "perhaps as good and fair a track as has ever been made" but after 1877 when Stamford Bridge opened the track became neglected and the sub-layer of gravel was exposed in places and at other points the poorly distributed cinders gave way under the feet of the runners. "


                              This was the track on which Walter George beat William Cummings in 4:12.75, a time not beaten for almost 29 years. The year after that race, the downside of professionalism closed the facility:

                              "The track and associated grandstand was burnt down on 18th Sept 1887 by rioting spectators after a fixed sprint match between Harry Gent and Harry Hutchins did not take place because neither of the participants would agree to lose."

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