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RIP Tom Von Ruden


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  • #16
    Thanks for the SI bio link, answered a lot of questions I did not know I had.
    I was off living life when Von Ruden was at OkSt and could only follow his career sporadically. I did not even know he was from Idaho but I did know Ralph Tate, who was Stillwater HS coach when I was at OAMC and succeeded Higgins as OSU coach, subsequently coached in Idaho, which explains how Von Ruden found his way to Oklahoma.


    • #17
      One last tribute to Tom Von Ruden: Preston Davis, U of Texas great 880/miler wrote in an obituary that von Ruden held the Army boot camp mile record (full faigues and boots) running under 4:20 at Ft Ord. Preston had run a 4:20 six weeks earlier which he was told was the all time Army record but von Ruden came to boot camp a month later and broke his record.

      Why doesn't someone inaugurate a return to an army-like boot camp mile challenge instead of the "beer mile" challenge which is much healthier and more patriotic? Can call it the "Von Ruden Challenge Mile Race"
      Last edited by midwestfan; 05-24-2018, 03:58 PM. Reason: add sentence


      • #18
        Chuck LaBenz ran a mile like that in 4:23 or so.... Didn't realize Von Ruden had run even faster... The draft in the 1960s led to all sorts of odd things.


        • #19
          Since a perfect score for the mile was 100 points for running 6:00, I wonder if there may have been any prominent runners who were content to hold back and not go all out - or did their competitive juices get the best of them?


          • #20
            That was shocking news! I had first been impressed by him while I was attending medical school in Albuquerque, and saw him competing in the indoor invitational.
            Much later, he lived in Reno, and worked at a major hotel here. Sometimes, during my lunch break, I'd walk over and chat with him for a few minutes about T&F. His co-workers were oblivious that he had been a sub-4 minute miler and Olympic finalist. He moved away to Arizona a few years back ( I've forgotten when, but I think more than 5 years ago)


            • #21
              I had also heard from someone on his message board that he worked in Reno.

              He was an excellent runner and probably the closest thing Jim Ryun had as a competitor before Marty Liquori. He really was a victim of his times. No means of making a living in the sport and no World Championships between Olympics.

              He was a favorite of mine. I did not know about the triple jumping. May he Rest In Peace.