Mile News

Lost American Mile Masters

April 23, 2013

Lesser-known runners larger-than-life champions in their day

By Roger Robinson, Running Times

Name the only American middle-distance runner to win four Olympic gold medals. Which great American Miler was rejected by the New York police because of a suspect heart?

Which famous American runner once wrestled a competitor to the floor during a race?

The answer to all three questions is the same: Mel Sheppard.

Sheppard was the greatest track star of the 1908 London Olympics, winning the 1500m and 800m, both in world records, and anchoring the USA to victory with a brilliant 800m in the 1600m medley relay. At Amsterdam in 1912 he won another gold, in the 4×400m relay, and silver in the 800m. The NYPD must have wondered if they got it wrong when they rejected him because of his "enlarged heart." From New Jersey, Sheppard was huge on the thriving East Coast track circuit, setting world indoor records at 600, 880 and 1000 yards, as well as the Mile.

Continue reading at:

Tags: wes santee (10) , mel sheppard (4) , bill bonthron (2)

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!