Mile News

A Time to Remember: 3:51.3

July 25, 1966

Leaving the whole world far behind him, Jim Ryun, the 19-year-old durable wonder of Kansas, smashes track's most treasured record—the Mile mark that has eluded American runners for 29 years

By Anita Verschoth, Sports Illustrated

After a few warmup sprints last Sunday on a field next to Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., Jim Ryun, that extraordinary young man from Wichita, Kan., sat down to change his shoes. "I feel fine," he said to a friend. "This is it."

Thirty minutes later on the Edwards track, riding the nice pace of his rivals, then bursting away alone for the final 700 yards, Ryun set a new Mile world record of 3:51.3. As he swept through the tape, strong and with little agony showing on his face, 15,000 spectators were on their feet, jumping up and down, yelling, whistling. Few heard the futile shout of the announcer: "The Mile race was won by Jim Ryun, who beat Michel Jazy's world record."

By chopping an incredible 2.3 seconds off Jazy's mark, Ryun, with years of running still ahead, had taken the record that many good Americans have sought but none have owned since legend and Olympic silver medalist Glenn Cunningham 29 years ago.

Curiously, the record might have eluded Ryun for another year if world politics had not made a shabby intrusion into the special realm of track this summer.

Continue reading at:

Mile WR progression HERE.

Short summary clip of Ryun's WR run

Tags: world record (68) , jim ryun (99) , glenn cunningham (11)

Facebook Comments

Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!