Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 18 Ernie's Memories of the 1960 Athens Meet and 2 Mile Relay WR

George I am sort of winding up the Olympics with some comments on the post Olympic meets in Athens and London vs British Commonwealth.


Athens = Good prep for the 1961 Indoor Season. London Could Have Been a Better World Record

The ancient Olympic track in Athens was just as Roy has described, loooong straights and minimal curves. You just couldn't get up a head of steam and had to slow down to make the turns. My baptism of fire for a busy indoor season ahead with 8, 10, 11, and 12 laps to the mile on the boards. The thing I remember the most about the meet was the terrible hole in the floor of the foul unisex bathroom. I made a quick trip in & as I came out Billie Pat Daniels (Winslow,Banks, Connolly) asked me to guard the door while she went. I told her that I didn't think she wanted to go in there, but she said she really had to go badly. 5 Seconds later she rushed out looking pale and said it was the worst place she had ever seen. I do not think she had to go for at least 3 more hours!!

London was not a good experience. Let's get this right out lst thing. I did not want to run lead off as I have never led off a relay in my life. OK so I POUTED alot but still had the lead off spot in spite of wanting the 2nd leg, my "comfortable" place on all mile relays vs my usual anchor spot on the distance medleys and 2 mile relays in college. I knew I was not good enough to anchor and as the race developed into a tactical first two legs by myself and Murphy, no one expected the fiery last two legs. It was raining like mad and I do not think the lst pair of runners or the 2nd pair really got into the race at all. Just think, if Murphy and I had run 1:48s, the WR would have been 6 seconds faster and lasted a lot longer than the cheap one Yerman and Siebert got for Murphy and me. (By coincidence I was a member of the S. Calif Striders that got 2nd to Oregon State in 1963 when they broke the World Record we set in London) Both Jack and Jerry ran magnificently but Farrell kept the Commonwealth team in the race and in spite of Siebert's great split, leave it to Snell to spoil everything.

A few months ago I googled Snell and found an interesting post by a fan who was at the meet. He got the fact it was raining correct but he had me anchoring vs Snell and mentioned that I ran great going out hard but as usual faded down the stretch even though I ran a 1:46+. Sorry Jerry! This sort of makes a good wrap up to my reports about the Rome Olympics and I hope that most of you have enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of my experiences with you, the good with the bad.

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