A Time to Remember: 3:51.3
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: sportsillustrated.com
Mile WR progression HERE.
Short summary clip of Ryun's WR run