76: The 100-miler: Part 23 (1983) The 24-Hour Two-Man Relay

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Manage episode 289712301 series 2396657
על ידי Davy Crockett התגלה על ידי Player FM והקהילה שלנו - זכויות היוצרים שמורות למפרסם, לא ל-Player FM, והשמע מוזרם ישירות מהשרתים שלכם. הירשמו כדי לעקוב אחר עדכונים ב-Player FM, או הדביקו את כתובת העדכונים באפליקציות פודקאסט אחרות.
By Davy Crockett This is a bonus episode about the Fort Meade races covered in episode 75. In the 1970s, a 24-hour relay craze took place at high schools, colleges and running clubs. By 1972, Runner's World Magazine, in Mountain View, California, was publishing results along with some standardized rules for these relays participated by hundreds of runners. The Washington and Baltimore Road Runners Clubs were early adopters the relay format when they established a 24-hour 10-man-team relay race in 1970 on the track at Mullins Field in Fort Meade where participants would run one-mile legs. The event would eventually expand to 50-mile and 100-mile solo races competed by many of the best American ultrarunners of the time. By the early 1980s, a few ultrarunners had tried to see how far they could go in 24-hours with just a two-man team. The known world record was 193 miles. During that time, the Philadelphia area was the home of many great roadrunners, with much credit to Browning Ross who organized numerous competitive races in the region for years. In 1983, two elite ultrarunners in America became inspired to try to break the world two-man 24-hour record on that track at Fort Meade in Maryland. These ultrarunners were Neil Weygandt and Dan Brannen. Neil Weygandt Neil Weygandt was from Havertown, Pennsylvania and worked at a sports store. During his running career, he was best known for his 45 consecutive finishes of the Boston Marathon, including 24 consecutive finishes in less than three hours. But in ultras circles during the 1980’s and 90’s he was known for his achievements in fixed-time races, especially 6-day races. Weygandt in 1963 Weygandt ran cross country at Haverford High School and became their top runner and team captain. In 1962 at the age of fifteen, he met future ultrarunning great Tom Osler (see episode 67), who was 22 at the time. Weygandt started to go on long training runs with Osler, beginning a life-long friendship and mentorship. In 1966 Weygandt went on to college and ran on the cross-country team at Pennsylvania Military Colleges (later named Widener University) where he became a champion. He also ran with on the South Jersey Track Club with Osler and Ed Dodd. Weygandt ran his first marathon in 1966, with a time of 2:50:10. He said, "It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be." Osler convinced Weygandt to run the Boston Marathon in 1967 starting his long association with that storied event. From 1968 to 1971 Wegandt was a member of various track clubs that would run in races against other clubs. He and Osler competed together and frequently won in road races up to 17 miles long. From 1971-73 he worked with the Road Runners of America as a Vice President over the Eastern United States. In 1977, he began to run ultras, with the Metropolitan 50-miler in Central Park, finishing in 6:39. By 1980 Weygandt stepped up to the 100 km distance and excelled running the Great Philadelphia to Atlantic City Road Race. In 1982 set a world indoor best running 133 miles in 24 hours at the Haverford College fieldhouse. That year he also ran his lifetime best for 100 miles at Shea Stadium in New York with a time of 14:35.27. In 1983, he was living in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and a member of the Haverford Athletic Association along with Dan Brannen. Dan Brannen Dan Brannen (1953-) was from Upper Darby, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He would make a life-time impact on the sport of ultrarunning. The Brannen family were Irish Catholics, and he went to Catholic schools growing up, including St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, the same school that ultrarunning legend, Ed Dodd attended several years earlier (see episode 74). Brannen's senior picture In high school Brannen was required to participate in an athletic extra-curricular activity. He explained, “I was a shrimpy little kid. I played little league baseball, but I wasn’t particularly athletic or coordinated.

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