The Great Distance Runners
This site is dedicated to the greatest distance runners in the world from past and present
Surely the "greatness" of a runner depends for a lot from your own point of view
about the subject. There are so many aspects which should be considered:
titles won - medals won - win-loss record - records set - longevity - versatility - number of competitions - personal bests - all-time rankings - class of competitors ...
Some only weight the Olympic medals the athlete has won, others only the records the athlete has set. I don't like something like this; I think we should look ON THE WHOLE CAREER of the athlete.
The main focus on this site are the track distance runners, the runners which had great success on the track over the distances from 800m to 10000m. Some of these runners which belong to the list of the greatest without any question: Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zátopek, Peter Snell, Kipchoge Keino, Sebastian Coe, Saïd Aouita, Noureddine Morceli, Haile Gebrselassie, Hicham El Guerrouj, Kenenisa Bekele, and some more...
I havn't done many stats for women, mainly because I'm also very much interested in the historical part of the sport. On the womens side there isn't a similar improvement like on the mens side for some reasons which could be: greater importance of illegal drugs than on the mens side, not such a big importance on female sports in big parts of the world like for the men, only very late "acceptance" for many distances for the women...
On this site you will find very extensive career records for many of the greatest distance runners, and also some other - unique - statistics. All of these stats are the result of many, many hours of work, which I have done over the past years. The formatting of these stats is far from perfect (it's much better with Mozilla than with IE on my computer...) at the moment - sorry for that. But I will try to better, so that it will become a pleasure to read them.
|My personal list of the greatest distance runners of all-time is as following:||The next group could include (no ranking) some of these runners:|
The aim was to make a list of "versatile" runners, which had great success in at least two Olympic events or good results in at least three events. But there isn't something like an mathematical formula behind which runners are included and which not. But obviously a great runner like Wilson Kipketer can not be included, because he never had 1500m-results of some significance. But the portuguese Rui Silva - for example - is included, because of international class results from 800m to 3000m. Also hardly someone will call Silva the "better" runner.
best overall-runnersIn addition to the personal bests of the athletes, you will find in brackets behind the personal best from each runner in all the events the BEST POSITION on the all-time list, which the athlete reached during his career in that event. This obviously must not be at the moment, when the athlete has set his best time. Numbers like 1:43,86 (13) in the 800m column thus means, that the athlete has a personal best of 1:43,86 and at one point of his career he was the 13th fastest of all-time in the event. It was not possible to search and find all of these positions, especially for runners from the first half of the 20th century. But still, this definitely is a statistics, which never was published - or done - before in this way. In some cases you will find a number like 4,54 or so in brackets, which means that the athlete has come within 4,54% close to the world record of the event.
Filbert Bayi from Tansania - at the 1974 Commonwealt Games in Christchurch he has set a new World Record
over 1500m after leading from gun to tape
|Michel Jazy has set World Records over all distances in between 1500m and 5000m - in which he was the 2nd fastest all-time|
1000m, Noah Ngeny, 1999 in Munich
3000m, 5000m, 10000m and the Steeple - unique
progressive all-time list 800m (2 DVD set WR 800m + 1000m)
progressive all-time list 1000m (2 DVD set WR 800m + 1000m)
progressive all-time list 1500m (5 DVD set WR 1500m + 1 Mile)
progressive all-time list 1 Mile (5 DVD set WR 1500m + 1 Mile)
progressive all-time list 2000m (1 DVD WR 2000m)
progressive all-time list 3000m (2 DVD set WR 3000m + 2 Miles)
progressive all-time list 2 Miles (2 DVD set WR 3000m + 2 Miles)
progressive all-time list 5000m (3 DVD set WR 5000m)
progressive all-time list 10000m (3 DVD set WR 10000m)
progressive all-time list 3000m Steeple (1 DVD WR 3000mSt)
My goal is to creata such lists - as complete as possible - for every runner who has achieved a World Record or has won an Olympic Title during his career. But it is very difficult to find enough data for some runners from before around 1950. Help is needed!
Steve Ovett (55) (14 DVD set OCC)
Sebastian Coe (56) (14 DVD set OCC)
Said Aouita (59) (9 DVD set)
Steve Cram (60) (14 DVD set OCC)
Joaquim Cruz (63) (3 DVD set)
Noureddine Morceli (70) (10 DVD set)
Wilson Kipketer (72) (7 DVD set)
Haile Gebrselassie (73) (19 DVD set)
Daniel Komen (76)(3 DVD set)
Kenenisa Bekele (82) (10 DVD set)
Irena Szewińska (46)
Edwin Moses (55)
Marita Koch (57)
Evelyn Ashford (57)
Merlene Ottey (60)
Carl Lewis (61)
Heike Drechsler (64)
800m-progression * 1500m-progression 3000m-progression 5000m-progression 10000m-progression 3000mSt-progression *
I'm working on UNIQUE DVD career compilations for some of the greatest distance runners (and also other athletes like Merlene Ottey, Carl Lewis... in near future) as well as UNIQUE world record compilations in great quality with many many races/records you might never have seen before.At the moment I can offer the following:
Sebastian Coe + Steve Ovett + Steve Cram (completely different from the compilation which was in ebay some years ago)
Said Aouita (including his 10000m in full and clip of steeplechase)
Noureddine Morceli (including 2 800m and 2 5000m races)
Haile Gebrselassie (including 2 800m and 9 1500m races)
Wilson Kipketer (including all his 7 world records in full)
men's 200m + 400m
men's 800m + 1000m
men's 1500m + 1 Mile
men's 3000m + 2 Miles
men's LJ + TJ
women's middle distance
women's long distance
women's LJ + TJ
For example: the men's HJ contains well over 40 different world record jumps or the men's 1500m/Mile well over 60 different world record runs, most of the ones from the last 50 years complete and in great quality. Please contact me - see below - if you are interested.
world record photosSome of these photos are from the great site www.elatleta.com which has an enormous amount of great pictures in the forum.
800m 1500m 3000m * 5000m 10000m 3000mSt *
historical distance running photos
detailed world record informationsI'm just planning this, but have just to start - the first race discription will follow soon
Said Aouita John Walker Paavo Nurmi Lasse Viren Noureddine Morceli
|Some links to athletics related sites which I regularly use:||
A number in red behind an performance always indicates the position on the all-time performers list the athlete reached with this performance. An +... gave the gap to the second placed athlete for a winning performance; an -... the gap to the winner, in an non-winning performance. To smaller venues, usually also the country is given; in some cases also the stadium is indicated.