Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago


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Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby aaronk » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:50 am

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Belgian Emile Puttemans startling 8:13.2 indoor two mile.
It was run on a 180 meter board track in Berlin.

That was a world indoor record....at THREE distances!!
He was timed enroute at both 2000 and 3000 meters in 5:00.0 and 7:39.2, both also new world indoor records.
As was his final two mile time of 8:13.2.

To put it in some perspective, Puttemans would have finished THIRD in that great two mile at Millrose two days ago!!
He still ranks as the 17th fastest performer over two miles indoors!
And his time is the ONLY one from that top 17 that pre-dates the year 2000!!
At the time, the outdoor two mile record was held by Lasse Viren, in a time of 8:14.0!!
It's rare (if it's EVER happened!!) that an INdoor WR is better than an OUTdoor WR!!

Despite Viren winning the Gold in the Munich 5K, it was Puttemans who led the World 5000 list, with his 13:13.0 in Brussels on September 20, 1972.
He also led the 1973 outdoor 5K list with his 13:14.51 in Stockholm on August 7, 1973.

He was a GREAT runner, and his two mile from 40 years ago this day stands as one of the greatest indoor track races of ALL TIME!!!
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby Olli » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:18 am

Yes, Puttemans was great, but something of an underperformer in big championships. The silver in Munich 10000m remained his only medal. Of course, we cannot know what might have happened in 1973 WC, if such things had existed then.

It may be that Puttemans was not such a great tactician. In Munich 10000m he perhaps lost some fuel in trying to keep close to Bedford in his surges. In 5000m he lost contact with the lead for some reason. On the other hand, I doubt whether he would have won Viren with any tactic in 1972; Viren also won him in his two-mile WR race in Stockholm. Incidentally, I believe Viren would have been capable in 1972 of considerably better times than what he actually achieved.

Puttemans also seems a great sport, if you look at his and Viren's hug after the Munich 10000m. A likeable fellow, it seems. I think he and Viren were in very friendly terms.
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby LopenUupunut » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:03 pm

aaronk wrote:At the time, the outdoor two mile record was held by Lasse Viren, in a time of 8:14.0!!
It's rare (if it's EVER happened!!) that an INdoor WR is better than an OUTdoor WR!!
Quick trivia question: when was 9:00 first broken at 2 miles?
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby catson52 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:27 pm

LopenUupunut wrote:
aaronk wrote:At the time, the outdoor two mile record was held by Lasse Viren, in a time of 8:14.0!!
It's rare (if it's EVER happened!!) that an INdoor WR is better than an OUTdoor WR!!
Quick trivia question: when was 9:00 first broken at 2 miles?


Good question. I knew it was considerably prior to Gunder the Wonder. Looked up the answer - very interesting.
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby kuha » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:17 pm

I'd guess Nurmi.
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby LopenUupunut » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:11 am

kuha wrote:I'd guess Nurmi.
Yup, Nurmi on his US indoor tour in 1925 (8:58.2). He was also the first to do it outdoors, but that only happened six years later :-)
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby Brian » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:50 pm

aaronk wrote:Today marks the 40th anniversary of Belgian Emile Puttemans startling 8:13.2 indoor two mile.

It's rare (if it's EVER happened!!) that an INdoor WR is better than an OUTdoor WR!!


It wasn't for lack of trying. Nearly every indoor meet contested a 2-mile while they were relatively rare on the outdoor international scene then (and now). Most--such as Ovett's WR victory over Rono--were special events requested by certain top athletes for a variety of reasons, not the least being the ducking of a too-fit-for-me-right-now opponent or a meet director wanting to have a WR set at his gathering.

Most Europeans didn't care much about the non-metric Mile and even less for the 2-mile. Those were seen by most continentals as "English distances" and as such--again with noted exceptions--mostly took place at sites such as Gateshead or Crystal Palace. [The old Coca-Cola meet at Crystal Palace used to highlight a 2-mile and/or a 2,000m. mostly because it took place late in the season and athletes didn't want to risk their World Rankings by competing when fatigued. England used to pay airfare for athletes from non-European countries with the caveat that they first compete in the UK and then end their seasons there, with negotiated travel to other meets on the European Circuit done in between--which made sense, as most plane flights from the USA, New Zealand, Australia, etc. (as is still true now) were cheaper if the person flew out and in from the same place.]

A real stud could get a meet director to schedule any distance they wanted, even a 2-mile, as long as it could be promoted as a World Record attempt. But few did. There were a relative bunch of races run at this distance @1974-1977, mainly because of the dominance of Walker and Bayi in the Mile/1500m. and studs like Dixon and Liquori beginning the move up to 5,000 meters. Again, wherever and whenever the studs were willing to attempt the WR...


If the number of actual records vs. the number of potential chances were compared, the indoor 2-mile record probably should have been better than the outdoor multiple times.

With a few exceptions, the best indoor distance marks above a Mile were usually achieved by those who possessed two key characteristics: a diminutive stature (for negotiating the curves/banks) and the front-running ability to push hard, with or without competition as most indoor races--at least in the '70's and '80's--were solo affairs with maybe one other A-level runner or two B-level runners also in the race. Think Puttemans, Coghlan (in the Mile, but probably could have gotten the 2-mile also, if desired; but no way meet directors would financially match/dilute the drawing power of the Mile, though), Prefontaine (AR's), etc. A more-modern example would be Gebresalassie.


That said, the Belgian gardner was indeed, physiologically, a first-class stud--and also a sportsman.
.
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby bambam » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:09 am

He was a stud, but he also spelled his name Emiel, not the more standard Emile.
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Re: Emile Puttemans 8:13.2 two mile--40 years ago

Postby 4:24-miler » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:37 pm

I'd never heard of Puttemans until I read this thread. Good to learn news things every day. :) Sounds like he was a beast of a runner. A 13:13.0 5K over 40 years ago? Wow.
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