Doris Brown Heritage

Birthday: 09/17/42 Mile PR: 4:39.6 - 1971
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 4:14.6 - 1971
High School: Peninsula HS '60
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
College: Seattle Pacific '64
Current Residence: Seattle, WA

Doris Brown Heritage was the first U.S. woman to break 4:40 in the Mile when she ran 4:39.6 on June 12, 1971 in Portland, OR, and in her career, she set the U.S. Mile record six times - twice indoors and 4 times outdoors between 1966-71 and was also the first woman to run a sub-5 minute Mile indoors, with a time of 4:52 in 1966. Overall, Doris set the indoor Mile world record twice and the indoor 1500 WR thrice.

The two-time U.S. Olympic team member (competed at 1968 Mexico City Olympics) was the AAU indoor 1 Mile champion in 1967-68 and 1971-72 as well as the AAU 1500 champion in 1966, '69 and '74. She was also the 800m silver medalist at the 1967 & 1971 Pan Am Games.

Brown, a women's running pioneer and humble legend, was also a five-time world cross country champion (1967-71), and over her career, she won 14 national titles. Brown also coached at Seattle Pacific University for 35 years, her alma mater, with 22 of them as head cross country coach.

FUN FACT: Doris, a member of several Hall of Fames, is only one of three women to hold the U.S. Mile record, both indoors and outdoors.


50 Years Ago, Doris Brown Put U.S. Women’s Distance Running on the Map

March 25, 2017

In March 1967, the indoor Mile world record holder became the first women’s international cross country champion.

By Roger Robinson, Runner's World

One of America’s greatest distance running talents had one major flaw: She was too fast for her time.

Up until 1967, the longest race for women...

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Celebrating International Women’s Day with Doris Brown Heritage

March 10, 2016

"One of my favorite track races was an indoor Mile in Vancouver, Canada... the Mile was a new race for women and so I had no experience, but our training and appreciation of the opportunity brought a win [and the first women's indoor sub-5 Mile]... that race seemed to give me a lot of...

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