Catching Up with Jim Ryun

by Melissa Brunner

You might agree or disagree with his politics, but you can't argue that Jim Ryun is a legend in track and field. One reason is emblazoned on the new Adidas signature shoe he showed me in a visit to the newsroom - his world record 3:51 time in the mile!

Ryun is back in his home state for the Kansas Relays. He's partnered with Adidas for the Jim Ryun High School Dream Mile. Saturday afternoon, the top male and female high school milers will compete, with the winners getting an invitation to the U.S. Nationals in New York. Ryun says the Relays are special to him. The favorite race of his illustrious career came at the Relays - in 1972, while he was preparing for the Olympics, with 36,000 fans cheering on the racers.

Ryun is excited about the future of distance running in the country. He continues to work running camps with young people and sees their excitement. One of those former campers was Ryan Hall, who this week set an American record finishing 4th in the Boston Marathon.

As for himself? He says he maybe could hit 3:51 again - if it was a half mile, on a good day, with the wind at his back!



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