Editors note: This piece is being reposted due to the Memorial on January 20, 2024 for the late Mike Fanelli. Mike was the cultural historian of our sport, a lifetime runner, a former Reebok sports marketing manager, coach, athlete, agent, elite athlete coordinator, real estate impresario, friend, brother, and husband. We will miss him. I wanted our readers to see a small selection of his pieces on #RunBlogRun over the years. Mike Fanelli, 1956-2023, RIP. 

RunBlogRun opines:

The One Hour run is about seeing how far and how fast you can run, period, over sixty minutes. With a minute to go, a bell is rung or gun is shot and you run until you hear “Stop”!

I ran my first-hour run in June 1976 at the University of San Francisco. It was the AAU Pacific One Hour Run Postal Championships. I ran nine miles in a pair of Nike Pre-Montreals, changed shoes to an NB trainer, and ran just under another mile before the race ended. A gun would be shot with one minute to go. You would sprint like mad until you were told to stop!

In the 1960s and 1970s, all of the great ones ran the One Hour Run: Ron Hill, Gaston Roelants, Ron Clarke. Haile Gebrselassie ran them in Hengelo and Ostrava in the 2000s! Arturo Barrios held the record for several years!

My feet were covered in blisters. I just missed 16 kilometers. My training partner, Bob Lucas, ran 10 miles, 140 yards. He ran a much smarter race than I.

I ran in the fast heat and remember being lapped (four times) by Mike Bordell, Jim Nuccio, and the late Brian Maxwell, co-founder of PowerBar. I can close my eyes and still hear Brian Maxwell pounding by me as he, Nuccio, and Bordell, running in tandem, would go by, charging for the extra miles. They all went over 12 miles in the one-hour run.

Mike Fanelli is one of the finest chroniclers of our sport. Here is his piece on the need to resurrect the One-hour run on the track. The pictures below are of Haile Gebreselassie en route to his hour-run World Record.

Haile Gebrselassie, Ostrava, 2007, One Hour Run, photo by PhotoRun.net

Haile Gebrselassie and Jos Hermans, One Hour Run, Ostrava, June 2007, photo by PhotoRun.net

Haile Gebrselassie, One Hour Run, WR, Ostrava, 2007, Photo by PhotoRun.net

BRING BACK the one-hour run…like the 1320, the hour run (at least domestically) is a thing of the past…let’s rectify this social injustice

…oh, and guess who holds the American record at the distance? http://www.alltime-athletics.com/m1hourok.htm

…and the USA record progression?

20.568 km Bill Rodgers-2 21 Feb 1979 Saratoga CA USA
20.547 Bill Rodgers (MA) 09 Aug 1977 Boston MA USA
20.053 Gary Tuttle (CA) 26 Jul 1975 Goleta CA USA
19.794 Bill Clark (CA) 07 Aug 1971 Mill Valley CA USA
19.624 Pat McMahon (MA) 24 May 1970 Waltham MA USA
19.582 Michael Kimball (OH) 05 Aug 1967 Alameda CA USA
19.450 Leonard Edelen 06 May 1962 Dublin IRL
18.687 Peter McArdle (NY) 02 Sep 1961 San Diego CA USA
18.542 James Green (MA) 11 Aug 1960 Waltham MA USA
17.990 Tom Ryan (CA) 07 Sep 1959 Costa Mesa CA USA
17.927 Browning Ross (NJ) 16 May 1959 Cheltenham MD USA