Mile News

Ray Flynn: Born to run and still in love with the sport

October 09, 2017

"When it's all said and done, it's a personal endeavor. It's an opportunity to do something that makes you feel better about yourself; it's an identity."

By John Greene, Independent

Another time. Another place. A stellar field of international superstar athletes gathered in the Mardyke in July 1982 to chase a world record. It was a big deal, but it was not uncommon.

For those of us of a certain age, the sporting landscape may have been dominated by the big sports then, much as now, but where fans of today might dip in and out of international success for boxers and rowers, back then it was more likely to be the runners and show jumpers who we turned to.

It was a golden era for Irish athletics. It was a time when the magical distance, the Mile, sparkled. And it was a common sight to see the world's great practitioners on these shores - John Walker, Sydney Maree, Steve Scott, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram - and the leading Irish athletes too, Coghlan, O'Sullivan, O'Mara . . . and local Longford legend Ray Flynn.

The week before the Mardyke, Flynn had been part of another red-hot line-up at a meet in Oslo. Scott and Walker were targeting a world record performance, while Flynn had a target of his own. "We were all chasing that night," Flynn recalls of the Oslo race. Two weeks earlier he had run on the same track and had come agonisingly close to going under three minutes and 50 seconds. He knew that on the right night, with the right conditions, he could be the first Irishman to break that elusive 3:50 barrier.

"There were places you raced that were fast and you went there to run fast and you were wired for it, and it was all you thought about, and that's what we did. We were just machines. Just running. It was all we knew how to do."

Continue reading at:

Tags: ray flynn (13) , irish athletics (3)

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!