Masters fields being assembled for Jim Ryun Festival of Miles

Jim became a legend at Kansas with many SI covers.

Jim became a legend at Kansas with many SI covers. I’ve known him since the 1970s.

Jim Ryun is teaming with Competitor Group and others to put on the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles on June 5 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego — 50 years to the day after his historic first sub-4 as a high school junior at the Compton Invitational. I spoke to Jim last week before the event was formally announced and posted this story. Ryun turns 67 next week but will not race a mile. He’s hoping to round up elite preps, open and masters milers, however. Masters men’s and women’s races are being planned. If you’re a top 10er at M40 or M45 (or W40/45), shoot me a note, and I’ll forward to the recruiters. Out of self-indulgent curiosity, I asked Jim what his best times were in the 100, 200 and 400. His relay splits are well-documented, but I didn’t know he ran an open 100-yard dash as a KU sophomore. He tells the time in the interview.

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April 26, 2014

4 Responses

  1. Ken Stone - April 26, 2014

    Forgot to mention: The meet is USATF-sanctioned, which means it’s eligible for age-group records.

  2. Nolan Shaheed - April 26, 2014

    Jim Ryan is my favorite and most inspirational milers of all time. Meeting him in person is on my bucket list just like meeting Miles Davis was. I got a chance to meet Miles and shake his hand. I’m glad Jim Ryan will be in Southern California and I will go to the meet to see if I can maybe shake his hand.

  3. Ken Stone - April 26, 2014

    Wonderful, Nolan. I’ll personally introduce you to Jim. I first interviewed him about 1974. I met him in 1972, when he was training for Montreal Olympics.

  4. Joseph Burleson - April 28, 2014

    And I submit that it should also be an honor for Ryan to shake the hand of Nolan Shaheed.

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