THE JIM RYUN FESTIVAL OF MILES
An event marking the 50th anniversary of Jim Ryun’s extraordinary feat to become the first high school boy to run a sub-4 minute mile.
When: June 5, 2014
Where: Balboa Stadium (San Diego, California)
Cost: FREE for all spectators!
A national coalition including representatives from the San Diego Track Club, Bring Back the Mile, Competitor Group, Inc. and Ryun himself have announced plans for the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles, a summertime celebration in San Diego to honor the milestone achievement.
On June 5, 2014, one of the most significant athletic achievements of the last century will be celebrated at San Diego’s Balboa Stadium: the 50th anniversary of Jim Ryun’s extraordinary feat to become the first high school boy to run a sub-4 minute mile.
“It truly was a special day and an incredible race in the history of high school athletics,” Ryun said. “I’ve been blessed to have a supportive network of family and friends in the running community. Our goal for June 5th is to stage an event that everyone in our sport will be proud of. More than an event about my accomplishments, this event will showcase the best of elementary school, high school and Masters runners. The general public is invited to participate whether running in a race or cheering from the grandstand.”
Ryun was the first high school runner to break the four-minute mile as a junior at Wichita East High School in Wichita, Kansas. On June 5, 1964, on a clay track in Compton, California, he ran 3:59.0 to break the barrier for the first time.
“One of the two or three seminal moments in our sport that transcended all sport was Jim Ryun running his first sub-4:00 high school mile,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP of Competitor Group, Inc. “It captured the world’s imagination and having lived through it, it’s hard to believe it was 50 years ago. That day, that feat and that man, who has gone on to be one of the great role models and stories of our time, needs to be remembered, lauded and celebrated.”
The weeklong celebration of this historic mile record will kick off on Friday, May 30 with the 17th annual Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Expo at the Convention Center in downtown San Diego, where Ryun will be presenting training tips and interacting with runners. Ryun will also serve as grand marshall for the marathon on Sunday, June 1. Events will take place throughout the following week, culminating with a ‘Festival of Miles’ on Thursday, June 5th at Balboa Stadium from 5:30-9 PM.
“We are honored to support this monumental anniversary, which has set the bar for high school athletics over the past 50 years,” said coach Paul Greer of the San Diego Track Club, who will be involved with the planning of the event. “There isn’t a greater runner in American history that has inspired more young athletes to achieve their greatness than Jim Ryun. You couldn’t ask to honor a better person or a better role model, and there is no better venue than the historic Balboa Stadium. ”
Official event sponsors include: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Reliant Beverage Company, San Diego County Chik-fil-A stores, The Westin, Vision Biotechnology Consulting, Competitor Group, Inc. and the USATF San Diego-Imperial Chapter.