Saturday, January 22, 2011

NorCal Running Legend: Don Bowden

Yesterday, Hank Lawson posted the  picture to the left of former Lincoln HS (San Jose) runner Don Bowden on the front page of his website,  I consider myself a sports historian so I was familiar with the name.  After some quick research, I was reminded that Mr. Bowden was the first American to break the 4 minute mile as a 20 year old Cal Berkeley student in a solo effort in a race in Stockton on June 1, 1957.  His best event in HS was the 880yd. in which he ran 1:52.3 in 1954.  His converted 800m. time of 1:51.79 still stands as the 11th fastest time in CCS history.

If you would like to read more about Mr. Bowden, check out the following articles.
1997 Sports Illustrated Article:
Four Minutes of Fame

2005 Stockton Record Article:
Bowden passed test with first U.S. sub-4:00 mile

Interestingly enough, his Cal record for the mile lasted close to 50 years until David Torrence finally broke it on April 28, 2007.  You can watch the video of that race here:

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