Greatest Milers


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Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:31 am

We know who # 1 is . Do you think Jim Ryun is top five all time ?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby miler manque » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:47 am

I think it's a stretch. Top 10, yes.
I think it's silly (but people do it) to try to rank 1, 2, 3, etc. Better to clump the very best together. The top 5 would have to include Coe, El G, Elliott, Morceli, but then it gets fuzzier, with Cram (three Olympic finals, plus world champion), Snell, Walker, Bannister, Ryun, and Keino in the mix --
Who knocked the WR down the most? Who was dominant in his era, but also considering the competition? Who won championships?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:48 am

With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the best.
Steve Scott would be the highest ranking American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles than anyone in history. The only non-africans I would put in the top ten list would be Scott, Cram, and Walker.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby miler manque » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:48 am

I think it's a stretch. Top 10, yes.
I think it's silly (but people do it) to try to rank 1, 2, 3, etc. Better to clump the very best together. The top 5 would have to include Coe, El G, Elliott, Morceli, but then it gets fuzzier, with Cram (three Olympic finals, plus world champion), Snell, Walker, Bannister, Ryun, and Keino in the mix --
Who knocked the WR down the most? Who was dominant in his era, but also considering the competition? Who won championships?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:49 am

Since there is no "official" rankings of the greatest milers, whether one thinks Jim Ryun should be in the top 5 is purely subjective and a subject tossed around with regularity on most track related boards.

In no particular order, other names to be taken into consideration would be: Herb Elliot, Nouredine Morceli, Seb Coe, Peter Snell and Kip Keino. More than 5 already.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:54 am

frustrating.. so many great milers(etc.etc.), and no way to know who'd have won the 'time-machine' all-time superstars final. I do all-time top 10 rankings (as part of book I've been doing, but realistically just as hobby), and you just have to award a lot of ties. 'Grouping' them is the best you could do. Let's hope we can see a 'showdown' between El G and another 3:26-type runner next year or '05 WCh. Even then, having 2 WR-breakers in same race wouldn't change many minds as to all-time rankings.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:41 pm

<With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the best.
Steve Scott would be the highest ranking American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles than anyone in history. The only non-africans I would put in the top ten list would be Scott, Cram, and Walker.>

This is scarcely fair to Ryun - he had two tremendous seasons 1966 and 1967, and he was totally unbeatable in those years, generally winning races by a two second margin or more. How much does longevity count against 2-3 great seasons? Where does Herb Elliott stand with only (at most) three good/outstanding seasons? (Unbeaten in career, of course).

Amongst the (recent) non-Africans, I would rate Coe higher than Scott/Cram/Walker. He is
the only person to win two Olympics golds in the 1500 m - Cram perhaps comes closest to him. Walker had great longevity, some great times (first sub 3:50 mile), but leaves something to be desired. His 1976 Oly win was scarcely convincing, just beating out an up and coming Ivo Van Damme. In many senses, his greatest race was the Christchurch 1974 (close) loss to Filbert Bayi.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:32 pm

Walker also knocked the best part of 2 secs of the world mile record, hardly something to sneeze at, apart from elliot which other sub-four ecord holder has done that.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:11 pm

How about Goglan ???
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:48 pm

Who is the #1, that we know?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:51 pm

>With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the
>best.

Well, he's far from the fastest. But he definitely ran his best times without any type of 'aid' as is so prevalent over the last 15 years or so. His 2:46 last 1200 in his WR 1500 race is about as good as today's best can muster, so he's right there, just because he was so far ahead of his time.

In terms of records, titles, etc., probably Morceli and Coe at the top, but El G can grab that spot IF he wins in Athens. Elliot had very little time on the track compared to other greats, despite his records. His undefeated record is impressive and yet unimpressive at the same time, when one looks at how many races other athletes have put in over their careers. Ryun is probably the runner who most underachieved, considering feats like 36.4 for the last 300 in a 3:38 race (seen anyone capable of that lately? - probably only Morceli, another awesome finisher), negative splits in his 880 record, etc. Keino had a superb outing in Mexico City, and a long career. El G has been around awhile, and has his multiple world championships.

I don't think that the Oly's should be quite such a heavy factor in judging some of those considered to be the best, as they come around once every 4 years. The WC's have gone a long way toward giving fans a true yardstick with which to measure a runner's career.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby miler manque » Wed Sep 17, 2003 5:59 am

>With a 3:51 pr Jim Ryun is far from the
>best.
Steve Scott would be the highest ranking
>American. He has run the most sub 4 minute miles
>than anyone in history. The only non-africans I
>would put in the top ten list would be Scott,
>Cram, and Walker.

Obviously, just looking at times is not the way to rank milers. Then you could just take the all-time lists.
Scott never held a world record, nor won a world championships. At least Ryun took the record down in sensational fashion. Scott's lengthy career at or near the top is commendable, and it looks like he'll remain at the top of the American list for a long time to come.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 17, 2003 8:04 am

Remember Elliot, Snell, and Ryun ran their times on clay, grass, cinders. Your can only compare how they dominated (margin of victory, titles won) in their respective era's.
I feel Ryun ranks above Scott, because he won major races, medaled at OG, dominated his era, set world records.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:04 pm

<Walker also knocked the best part of 2 secs of the world mile record, hardly something to sneeze at, apart from elliot which other sub-four ecord holder has done that.>

When you look at the lowering of a mile record, you should consider the record vis-a-vis the 1500 m scene. When Walker lowered the mile record to sub 3:50, his time was intrinsically no better than Bayi's 1500 m time from Christchurch 1974. Walker's 3:49.4, lowered Bayi's (then) recent 3:51.0, which was definitely inferior to the 3;32.2 1500 m time. Elliott's 3:54.5 mile (Dublin 1958), lowered Ibbotson's recent (1957?) record by 2.7 sec. , and was at least 2 seconds superior to everything in the 1500 m until mid 1958.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:07 pm

>Remember Elliot, Snell, and Ryun ran their times
>on clay, grass, cinders. Your can only compare
>how they dominated (margin of victory, titles
>won) in their respective era's.

From runtrackdir.com, describing the track at Lillie Bridge:

"[It] was opened on 18th March 1869 as a 3 laps to the mile track with square corners around a cricket ground. . . The running track was reported to be "perhaps as good and fair a track as has ever been made" but after 1877 when Stamford Bridge opened the track became neglected and the sub-layer of gravel was exposed in places and at other points the poorly distributed cinders gave way under the feet of the runners. "


This was the track on which Walter George beat William Cummings in 4:12.75, a time not beaten for almost 29 years. The year after that race, the downside of professionalism closed the facility:

"The track and associated grandstand was burnt down on 18th Sept 1887 by rioting spectators after a fixed sprint match between Harry Gent and Harry Hutchins did not take place because neither of the participants would agree to lose."
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:26 pm

<We know who # 1 is .>

Puddys - if you are still out there. Who is #1 in your book?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby maccky » Thu Sep 18, 2003 12:46 pm

EL G is the greatest
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 18, 2003 7:07 pm

>EL G is the greatest

Right now. But not the greatest ever. Morceli at his peak would have eaten El G for lunch. Better racer, faster finisher. El G's 5k at the world's not withstanding, he needs to run several more 'races' to show that he can really race like some of the top stars from the past who showed they could race. Take Walker for example. Came out of nowhere to run a PR almost catching Bayi. Thrashes Bayi head to head that summer in another fast time. Would always come up with a good race against the best. Someone said his Olympic win wasn't the greatest or something to that effect earlier. He won. Coe, great racer and runner. Morceli, won BIG races and could run for records. Ovett, good racer. El G, good runner behind rabbits. Not that stellar without them. Even at the 1500 at the WC's, he pulled the same move he does on the GP circuit. He did win, but the kids are getting closer. How would he have done with guys pressing him as in Sydney? I hope he wins and stakes his claim in Athens, but if he doesn't ....
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:13 am

< Take Walker for example. Came out of nowhere to run a PR almost catching Bayi. Thrashes Bayi head to head that summer in another fast time. Would always come up with a good race against the best. Someone said his Olympic win wasn't the greatest or something to that effect earlier. He won.>

Remind me about thrashing Bayi head to head that summer in another fast time. was that in 1974 and was that before or after Bayi's problems with malaria. Walker's performance at the 1977 World Cup left a great deal to be desired - "thrashed" by an up and coming Ovett. Just winning an Oly gold does not bring one up on an all-time great list. What about Ericsson (1948), Barthel from 1952, Delaney 1956. Who remembers the 1988 Oly champ? Of the three Kiwis who have been Oly 1500 m champs, I do not think Walker was superior to Snell (1964) or Lovelock (1936).
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:27 pm

Bayi had the malaria trouble well after his summer thrashing by Walker. Bayi's problem that summer was guys were now ready for what he was going to do. He also got hurt in a later race, trying to change his tactics after he found Walker able to catch him.

Walker was a great racer. No shame in getting whipped by Ovett, although Ovett had raced much less overall that summer than Walker. Snell was a better 800 man than Walker, but he could never have hung with Walker over a fast mile. Snell looked fast until Ryun came along running fast finishes in fast races. Lovelock, different era completely, hard to compare. But Walker's won loss record in real races during his peak speaks for itself. El G's career has seen him run with rabbits in almost every race. Not so with the other greats.

BTW, was Lovelock killed by accident, or was it a suicide?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby maccky » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:32 pm

Why isnt Emmon Goglan not mentioned ? Was he known for indoor only ?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby dj » Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:18 am

"But Walker's won loss record in real races during his peak speaks for itself. "

You're forgetting that Walker ran with rabbits in most (all?) of his European races.

Beyond that, his competitive record in championship races is not good, at least compared to other all-time greats:
2)CommG 74 (to Bayi), 1)OlyG 76, dnf)WCup 77 (stepped off the track when Ovett kicked past), 2)WCup 81 (Ovett), 2)CommG 82 (Cram), 9)WChamps 83 (Cram, Scott, Aouita, Ovett [not a bad first four!], Abascal, Deleze, Busse, Zdravkovic).
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:32 am

BTW, was Lovelock killed by accident, or was
>it a suicide?

I believe he was in a car crash a few years after the Olympics that damaged his sense of balance. He died when he fell onto subway tracks in NY.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:31 am

I have always been curious about the comparative last 400 ability of historys top milers. Assuming these guys had raced in the same era with rabbits absent the race would be tactical. What would seperate them would be strength of kick. Does anybody have any comparative stats. Which one of these guys has recorded the fastest last 400m during a race.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:10 pm

<I have always been curious about the comparative last 400 ability of historys top milers. Assuming these guys had raced in the same era with rabbits absent the race would be tactical. What would seperate them would be strength of kick. Does anybody have any comparative stats. Which one of these guys has recorded the fastest last 400m during a race. >

I believe you are wrong about how a mythical all-time greats race would be run. Herb Elliott did not need rabbits and often led from 800 m out - e.g. Goteborg 1958, Rome 1960. Gunder Hagg led almost all the way in most of his important races during 1942-1944. And as for Walter George, most of his big races were with two runners - who was the rabbit?

If we spot the person with the greatest finishing speed - Ryun 1967, Morceli or Ovett at their peaks? - why would the others sit around and wait to be outkicked in the last 100 m or so?
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:01 pm

On that day of the Olympic 1500 Final in 1984, you could have whoever you wanted from whatever time you wanted but NOBODY would have beaten Seb Coe that day, period. Forget his time/splits, etc, and look at the effortless nature in which he ran it. He had another two gears in reserve easy.

If I would have to pick any runner on any given day to race in the "All Time Mile Great" race, it would have to be Seb Coe on that day.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:55 pm

Herb Elliot es el mejor, sin duda!
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Tvarish » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:32 am

There are many different criteria that people use (wr, competition, etc.) in ranking people in events. However, for me personally (only an opinion), it is hard to compare times in the 800/1500 over the years because of differences in the tracks (the same is true for any event). So, for me, it comes down to one thing: Winning the race whichever it happens to be with a little more emphasis on WC and Olympics. That being said, how can Herb Elliot, Peter Snell, and Coe not be in everyone's top five. As my previous poster noted, Coe absolutely dominated the 84 1500. And even if you prefer to look at times, all 3 of these men set numerous wr's albeit Snell probably no to the extent of the other two. Ask yourself this. If you had to pick someone to win you a 1500 (against people from his own era), who would you take? Also, in my list of top 1500's, I would add Ryun, Walker, Keino, El G and Morcelli. Just my opinion.
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:14 am

>Walker's performance at
>the 1977 World Cup left a great deal to be
>desired - "thrashed" by an up and coming Ovett.

I will alays vote for Elliot...short career, but who can argue with perfection?

But I'm also a Walker fan--anytime, anywhere, any place. A competitive animal. Got a little stupid with that back and forth Bayi thing once the money guys started trying to control the venue.
The great thing about Walker was "no excuses." After getting physically and mentally wiped out by Ovett's kick at Dusseldorf, Walker continually said he had no reason for quitting the race, no excuses, that he had just quit and he didn't know why and that it was a bad mistake he regretted.
Love that personal responsibility!
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Re: Greatest Milers

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 30, 2003 1:11 pm

ref:84 OG 1500
Coe dominated, but remember Ovett came out of the hospital to race. Might have been a different result with a healthy Ovett. I see Ovett as a better racer over the course of their careers.
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