The Runaround – 8/27/12


Steve Spence, the bronze medalist in the 1991 World Championships marathon, for the most part, is known for his history as one of the United States’ top marathoners.

But, as of late, one of his most impressive achievements actually involves…the mile. In fact, this achievement has been a work in progress for Spence since he was a young teenager–long before he was a world-class marathoner.

Spence, now the head cross country coach at Shippensburg University, has been keeping a very special streak alive since for the past 37 years–since he was 13 years old. Usually, when we talk about a “streak” in running, it often is a reference to how many consecutive days one has run without taking a day off.

But how about a 37-year streak in which a runner has eclipsed a 5:00-minute mile on AT LEAST one occasion each year? Steve Spence, as of a few days ago, has accomplished that.

Sure, a sub-five-minute mile isn’t something to write home about for Spence, considering he was once able to hold that pace for 20 miles. But it is all the more impressive that he has kept his streak alive well beyond his finest years.

So, despite being a full-time collegiate XC/Track coach, a father of a professional runner, and despite being 50 years old and coming off of an injury that left him sidelined for almost a year, Spence ran a 4:52 full mile in front of a crowd of fans, athletes, and friends.

That’s natural talent.

How did he do it? Will he keep the streak alive? Want to hear more from Steve Spence? Be sure to check out last night’s show!

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