Rob noted that in 2012 he’ll be going for his tenth straight year of breaking 4:00. He and his friends wondered what other Americans had ever turned the trick.
As it turns out, only two. Steve Scott did it an amazing 17 years in a row, from 1977 to 1993. Jim Spivey went 12 years in a row, from 1982 to 1993. (My files are incomplete for certain years, 1981 included, and Spivey might be at 14 since he first broke 4:00 in 1980).
Jim Ryun made nine out of ten, missing in 1970. Sydney Maree also made nine out of ten, missing in 1984.
Noting that I don’t have definitive US lists in my files for the years 1976-1981 or 1983, I’m going to be a bit cautious. Here is what I think are all the American milers with at least five consecutive years breaking 4:00.
17 years: Steve Scott
12 years: Jim Spivey (maybe 14 years)
9 years: Steve Holman, Rob Myers
7 years: Leo Manzano, Bernard Lagat
6 years: Jim Grelle, Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Todd Harbour, Christian Cushing-Murray, Terrance Herrington, Alan Webb, Russell Brown
5 years: Dyrol Burleson, Marty Liquori, Len Hilton, Greg Whiteley, Seneca Lassiter
*so far as I know, Burleson did not break 4:00 in 1965, when he ranked #8 in the world, otherwise his streak would be 7
*Chuck Aragon’s streak is 6 if he broke 4:00 in ’83
*Craig Masback’s streak is 6 if he broke 4:00 in ’80
*Lagat’s streak is longer than 7 years, but he’s only been an American for that long
Top active streaks…
9 years: Myers
7 years: Manzano, Lagat
4 years: Lopez Lomong, Will Leer
3 years: Andrew Bumbalough, Andrew Wheating
What’s on the weekend
New Year’s Eve has top races all over the world…
The Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre 15k will be held in São Paulo on Saturday. Headliners include Martin Lel (3-time London Marathon champ), Matthew Kisorio (58:46 half), Duncan Kibet (2:04:32 marathon) and Tariku Bekele (former World indoor 3k champ).
The St. Sylvester Road Race, a 10k, will be held in the Angolan city of Luanda on Saturday.
The BOCLASSIC Internationaler Silvesterlauf, a 10k for men and 5k for women, will be held in the Italian city of Bolzano. Headliners include Imane Merga (World XC champ) versus Wilson Kiprop (World half marathon champ) and Edwin Soi (Olympic 5k bronze), and Vivian Cheruiyot (World XC champ).
The massively popular New Year Ekiden will be run in the Japanese city of Maebashi on Sunday. The race is men-only, corporate (read: pro) teams in a seven-leg 100k race. From Japan Running News:
Overseas viewers up for the task should be able to catch TBS’ broadcast live via Keyhole TV, with English-language splits and commentary coming to you live @JRNLive starting at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 on the west coast of North America, 6:30 p.m. on the east coast, or 11:30 p.m. in London. If JRNLive maxes out commentary will continue @JRNHeadlines.
For an extensive preview, go to Japan Running News.
More fun than watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the Times Square ball drop, not as much fun as getting drunk and sunburnt in Key West and watching the Duval Street drag queen drop…
RunnerSpace Live’s top ten awkward videos of 2011
Martin Bingisser’s best moments of the year in hammer throwing.