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RE: Arthur Lydiard or Daniels
Naughty boy, HRE... Think of one word; Sortie...! Just kidding.
The video Nike put together on Pre, Fire on Track, starts with a comment; something like 60s and 70s being the Golden Era of Track & Field... In a way, perhaps. When I was in NZ, I spent quite a bit of time visiting local second hand book stores, digging out all the out-of-print running books. NZ and Australia have such rich tradition of running. And 60s and 70s must have been the highest point of all. I've seen a picture of Murray Halberg dashing out of the front door as a 17-year-old. Those were the days of care-free, they didn't know much about how much lactate they were getting in their blood stream or if their threshold pace was 7 seconds slower or faster or things like that. They just got out and ran; up and down the muddy bush-track; hills so steep even John Walker had to walk (I saw it one time...). When I ran my first ever marathon at Rotorua, I did 3-hour run a week before, then 2:30 on Tuesday and 2:45 on Thursday. I still brokw 3 hours at Rotorua. They didn't really have custom-made shoes; I guess Dick Tayler always lost his toe nails running around 10k on the track in spike shoes.
60s and 70s must be considered as the Golden Era of US distance running as well (and it extended into early 80s with the Squires' Group). Shorter used to always tape his spike shoes because he had such narrow feet. He used to take his foot for the marathon as well because shoes he was wearing didn't have much arch at all. They basically hammered themselves and knocked them into shape. You guys had many great "unknown" runners in the 60s and 70s. In MN, many people still talk about Ron Daws but we also had Varn Nelson, Steve Hoag, BJ...and yes, Buddy Edelen! The guy held the world record for the marathon in the 60s!
I was just reading this book on marathon history in Japan. It talks about Shigeki Tanaka, first Japanese to win Boston marathon at the age of 18! Then Keizo Yamada, Kokichi Tsuburaya, Kenji Kimihara...moving on to Seko, Soh brothers, Morishita, Taniguchi... People know who those people are. In NZ, I can still find a book on Jack Lovelock. I don't think in the US, people don't know enough about their local heroes; Ryuns and Liquoris and Shorters and Moores... US had probably the highest finishers in the Olympic marathon history in 1972 with Shorter winning, Moore 4th and Bacheler 9th. Why? What was it that they were doing that made the difference? What was it that Squires was doing that made such a huge impact?
Today everybody is talking about LT pace and AT pace and training like walking in the glass slippers; we're supposed to know more about what's going on in our bodies. We're supposed to eliminate all the wasted effort. And with all the money going into the sport and much advanced equipment and sponsorship and so-called "professional" attitude, for some reason we don't see as much depth in performance. So I guess the question still remains; why?
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