Maybe there's a topic on this, but I couldn't find it. What is your favorite relay race of all time. You have to pick just one. anywhere from middle school to the pros. I'll go with the 2010 Asian Games women's 4x100 final. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXmMoYtxsYI
I was 17 in 1960, and had just become a tracknut ( still am one ! ).
The event that has always stuck in my mind is the Rome 1600 relay, with Otis Davis outlasting Carl Kaufman in a WR 3:02.2. I think Yerman led off, followed by Earl Young and Glenn Davis than Otis on the anchor.
Would like to have been present in Helsinki in 1952, to see the 4 x 400 m relay final. To watch McKenley's great run (part of it on youtube) and then to see Zatopek enter the stadium at the end of the marathon, and the standing ovation for the Human Locomotive.
Dukehjsteve you've got the order correct. It was a great race that fortunately was on national television. Of all the relays that I would have liked to seen, it would be the June, 1966 4 x 880 New York City High School Relay where Boys High School with Mark Edmead, John Henry, Mike Randall and James Jackson was edged out by Andrew Jackson High School, with Julio Meade, Bill Jacobs, Sam Thomas and Mark Ferrell. Both schools ran a high school record of 7:35.6. The old record was 7:42.
Didn't see it, but the first relay that really intrigued me was from 1962, I believe.
UO put together a team of 4 milers--Dyrol Burleson, Archie San Romani Jr, Keith Forman, and ?????----and ran something like 16:08!! (Don't have exact data or all the names, as I no longer have my T&FN from that year!) But I thought it incredible that one school had 4 guys who could run under, or close to, 4 minutes.....just 8 years after Bannister's run.
Best relay of recent vintage would have to be this year at Penn----the women's college 4X800. Record broken, great competition.
Best personal participation relay?? I took part in TWO 24 Hour Relays.....in which 10 guys each ran 1 mile in turn. The first time, we did 245 miles and some yards. The next time, we did 253 miles and change. This was on the Humboldt State track in 1974 and 1975. Some of the guys were professors---30+ in age! Some of the best memories of my entire 30 years of running!!
Olympic Festival at Duke (i think) circa 1990, Men's 4x4, the four most evenly matched teams in memory..umpteen lead changes..could have thrown a blanket over the entire field on every leg....presumably US regional teams. I don't.know where they found 16 guys to run 45s and how they distributed them that evenly.. Maybe someone has the sources to look up the details.
Not a known race by any means (you said as far back as middle school), but I remember a high school Frosh California State Sectional mile relay, we were last or close to last after the first leg, during the second leg a couple runners fell right in front of our runner and he was able to hurdle them, by the third leg, the leader of the race was at least 1/2 a lap ahead when out of the blue the baton just went flying in the air and onto the infield. By the fourth leg, there was still one team comfortably ahead of us, but that guy hit a wall off the last curve like I've never seen and we won by just a couple meters. The most improbably race I ever saw.
It's probably good to split these between races seen live, and those on TV -
Live - 4x880 in 1960, where the USA set a WR of 7:19.4, but lost to a Commonwealth mixed team [7:18.0] anchored by Peter Snell's 1:44.8. On a cold wet night Snell's run would have been worth 1:41+ in Rieti
A 4x400 in 1964 where a UK team surprisingly beat a good US/JAM squad in unusual UK conditions (100o weather) in front of a 35000+ crowd at the White City - Tim Graham 47.0, Adrian Metcalfe 47.3, John Cooper 45.9, Robbie Brightwell 44.8 = 3:05.0 Billy Hardin 47.1, George Kerr/JAM 47.0, Mike Larrabee 45.9, Ollan Cassell 45.1 = 3:05.1 The shock here was Cooper (a 47.5 man) holding Larrabee, and the result showed US officials that it would be smart to have Henry Carr running the anchor at the OG that year - which he did brilliantly
The US women and Jamaican men setting WRs in London last year
On TV - It has to be the UK winning the 1991 WCh 4x400, and the Jamaican 4x400 of 1952, and on the women's side the 4x400 WCh in 1997 when Breuer went from 4th to 1st in the last 80m for Germany
1982, Penn Relays 4 x 8. All time classic, the top SEVEN teams broke the collegiate record. Yes, you could have run under the old CR, and finished just 7th. Many NCAA all-Americans in that race too: John Marshall, Marcus O'Sullivan, John Gregorek, Julian Spooner, Randy Stephens, Stanley Redwine...more I'm sure but the memory fades. But great speed and intensity and the always great Penn crowd. And times that would still stand well today.
hc10003 wrote:1982, Penn Relays 4 x 8. All time classic, the top SEVEN teams broke the collegiate record. Yes, you could have run under the old CR, and finished just 7th. Many NCAA all-Americans in that race too: John Marshall, Marcus O'Sullivan, John Gregorek, Julian Spooner, Randy Stephens, Stanley Redwine...more I'm sure but the memory fades. But great speed and intensity and the always great Penn crowd. And times that would still stand well today.
Speaking of Penn, and 4X800's........
I made brief mention of the CR run by Villanova this year, but Oregon also dipped under the old mark, And the 2 teams were just 0.17 apart at the end of almost two miles of running!
The other woman's 4X800, the USA Red (??) team that ran 8:04.31, crushing the old AR by almost 13 seconds. Not to mention that the last 3 legs were run by Brenda Martinez, Ajee Wilson, and Alysia Montano.....ALL of whom make up our W800 team heading to Moscow!!
can't say its my favorite but it is quite a remarkable relay - Didn't see it in person, only on the internet and horrible video quality at that. In 1995 @ the HS Cal State meet saw Obea Moore, a sophomore get the baton for his anchor leg in the 4 x 4. He was ~25 yards behind the leading runner who was a low 48 guy. Moore caught the guy just short of the finish, running 45.5xx. He later ran 45.14 which I think is a Jr record still. That would have been one of those jaw dropper / eye pop-pin experiences methinks. Was TFN cover guy Jan 1997. He had significant range running 10.4x, 20.77, 1:49.16 as a soph, and an anecdotal report to have run 4:24 (I've seen 4:19 reported as well) in the 1600. When he was a sr Muir won the Penn relay 4 x 400 - in 4:08.72. 48.0 lead, 49.8, 45.8, and 45.08.
One of the great talents to perform @ HS level. Showed great promise but faded into nonproductive paths.
times may not be exact (then again they might) but they are close. He became a legendary relay guy in So Cal and Cal ...and at the Penn Relays.
two standouts for me, partially because the Brits won i guess, but they were still wonderful races which encompass everything great about relays. 1969 womens 4 x 400 European Champs, the last leg between Olympic Champ Colette Besson and silver medallist Lillian Board. Besson holds a huge lead after going off at an unholy spped through the first 300m, but Board keeps her head, and with the last stride, overhauls her Olympic nemesis. 1974 mens 4 x 400 European Champs, not dissimilar to Rollerball, you could with some justification disqualified several of the teams for violations, and the 3:03.5 winning time did little justice to the talent on display, but it was unbelievably exciting, and Jenkins's anchor leg was the best run of his life
For me that one is memorable because it almost cost me my laptop last year. Two german Eurosport commentators were talking about relays and one guy mentioned how he will never forget the 4x4 of 91, where the brits won because their anchor John Akii-Bua beat the american Butch Reynolds to the line. I almost spilled my pepsi over my laptop cause i was laughing so hard.
i personally thought the womens 4x400m in atlanta was fantastic! so exciting, dramatic finish, would have been extra special if ogunkoy had managed to pass jearl miles, but it was nice for miles that she hung on to finish the womens programme with a win for america. she was under a lot of stress in the last 150m.
charity opara really screwed the whole thing up for nigeria when afolabi, and yusef and ogunkoya did an amazing job.
then there was grit breueur as usual storming down the home straight for germany
womens 4 by 400 in Bejing was hot especially the anchor leg between US and Russia. Also 4 by 400 in Seoul I was probably watching it with a pacifier when it first aired but have seen it on youtube and it is very exciting.
another rain drenched Penn Relays gem: 1987 College Distance Medley. Georgetown wins coming from 10-15yds back on final leg. 5 teams bunched w 3 laps to go.
Stahr makes monster move with about 200 - 250 to go, coming from 3rd to first, and wins by a stride. Georgetown beats Villanova and St Mary's with the top three all breaking the world record. GTown runs 9:20.96.
Trautmann ran the opening 1,200 meters in 2:53.1, Outler 400 meters in 46.9 seconds, Irish 800 meters in 1:46.1 and Stahr 1,600 meters in 3:54.9.
I recall a HS Mile Relay Tommie Smith was in at the Fresno Relays in the early 1960s; he was probably a probably a Senior @ Lemoore HS then.
It was the same relay in which Selma (California) HS had a one-armed runner and that team was ahead of Lemoore! Everybody was waiting for Tommie Smith to get the baton; his team was woefully behind ... probably by about 90-100 yards.
Smith took the baton & as those who remember him, he began to pick up speed and cover more and more 'real estate' in very short order. One-by-one, Smith picked off each runner ahead of him until he came down the homestretch to win the race. Just an amazing leg.
My favorite race in general? Probably the LA City Schools 8 man Mile Relay .... 8 speedsters each running 220 yards!! It was crazy and competitive! Entertaining for the fans ...
But who wants to have events to entertain the fans, anyway?!!