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Peter Snell turns 70

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  • Peter Snell turns 70

    Today the great Peter Snell turns 70. Having won everything he could (three Olympic golds, Commonwealth gold) and set several world records at 800m, 880y and the mile, he went on further and had a remarkable scientific carreer in USA universities.
    Happy birthday, Mr. Snell.

  • #2
    interestingly, he never held the 1500wr

    herb had it at 3'35.6 in '60 whereas snell's ultimate mile was 3'54.03 ( wiki ) in '64 which converts to a ~ 3'36.7 wih 1.08

    wiki gives his 1500 pb as 3'37.6 in '64, so he did underperform over that distance & we can't use a "didn't chase times" excuse as he set the 1k wr at 2'16.6 & no elite guy bothers running that unless they want the wr

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    • #3
      Happy birthday Peter. Not only a great runner, but a fantastic person. I was lucky enough to meet Peter several times over the years and he was always so friendly. I also got to see him run a few times. He was powerful. That's how I'll remember him. His double in Tokyo in 1964 was amazing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by eldrick
        interestingly, he never held the 1500wr

        herb had it at 3'35.6 in '60 whereas snell's ultimate mile was 3'54.03 ( wiki ) in '64 which converts to a ~ 3'36.7 wih 1.08

        wiki gives his 1500 pb as 3'37.6 in '64, so he did underperform over that distance & we can't use a "didn't chase times" excuse as he set the 1k wr at 2'16.6 & no elite guy bothers running that unless they want the wr
        The 3:37.6 was run en route to the 3:54.04 (note corrected auto time per Hymans/IAAF WR progressions). I don't recall any serious 1500 races other than the '64 OG.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eldrick
          interestingly, he never held the 1500wr

          herb had it at 3'35.6 in '60 whereas snell's ultimate mile was 3'54.03 ( wiki ) in '64 which converts to a ~ 3'36.7 wih 1.08

          wiki gives his 1500 pb as 3'37.6 in '64, so he did underperform over that distance & we can't use a "didn't chase times" excuse as he set the 1k wr at 2'16.6 & no elite guy bothers running that unless they want the wr
          I'm almost certain that the first 1500m he ever ran was in Tokyo in 1964.

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          • #6
            The metricaholics like to think that the track world was always such, but Snell's career makes it quite clear that it wasn't.

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            • #7
              It has been interesting to me that first with Snell and in the 70s with Juantorena, both runners were supposed to herald the coming of the big men to middle-distance running. The old "a good big man is better than a good small man" argument. But that has not panned out to any degree at all.

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              • #8
                IIRC, Juantorena was about 5 inches taller than Snell. (6'3" vs 5'10")

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tandfman
                  IIRC, Juantorena was about 5 inches taller than Snell. (6'3" vs 5'10")
                  True but even then Snell was big for a miler. Huge actually in terms of his body type. He was not built like typical middle-distance runners.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, Snell was stocky, compared to most middle-distance runners.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tandfman
                      Yes, Snell was stocky, compared to most middle-distance runners.
                      But was he very different from Glenn Cunningham, Tom Courtney, Merv Lincoln, Olavi Vuorisalo, Derek Ibbotson and John Walker?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Per Andersen
                        Originally posted by tandfman
                        Yes, Snell was stocky, compared to most middle-distance runners.
                        But was he very different from Glenn Cunningham, Tom Courtney, Merv Lincoln, Olavi Vuorisalo, Derek Ibbotson and John Walker?
                        You're right, but we don't see their likes anymore. Snell and Juantorean were supposed to herald a new age of bigger runners who would dominate.

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