Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Little Known Local Running Hero: Buddy Edelen

If I haven't heard of a runner they are either pretty old or just plain not very good.  Buddy Edelen definitely falls in that first category.  Buddy attended high school in St. Louis Park, MN until his senior year when his family moved to Sioux Falls, SD.  Buddy established new records over the long distance events in his year as a South Dakota prep including running the mile under 4:30, a rarity in that day.  After high school, Buddy went on to the University of Minnesota where he excelled in the long distances.  He won a few Big 10 Championships in the 2-Mile on the track and in Cross Country and placed as high as 4th at the NCAA Cross Country Meet.  All this while running just 25 miles per week.  After graduating, Buddy began running under the tutelage of coach Fred Wilt.  Wilt had Buddy move, first to Finland, then to England to train.  Distance running was not a popular activity in America at the time and they felt it would be more beneficial to train overseas.  Buddy competed in the 1960 Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters but failed to make the team.  Later, Buddy would become the first American to break 30 minutes in that race.  He also became the first American to break 2:20 in the Marathon and he set the World record of 2:14:28 at the Polytechnic Marathon in London.  At the 1964 Olympic Marathon Trials, Buddy won the race by over 3.5 miles in temperatures of 90 plus degrees.  However, that race was the beginning of the end for Buddy whose career eventually was sidelined by Sciatica.  He battled through his injury and placed 6th at those Olympics in Tokyo and nearly set a new best of 2:14:34 the next year.  Eventually, Buddy retired from competitive running and moved to Alamosa, CO to pursue his graduate degree.  After completing his degree, Buddy continued to run and took a job on staff at Adams State University in Alamosa.  There, Buddy helped organize the 1968 Marathon Trials, held at altitude to prepare for the games in Mexico City.

Jack 15 - 1964

All information obtained from Buddy's Biography, "A Cold Clear Day, The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen" by Frank Murphy.  Photograph above is from the Prairie Striders Website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Day in Track and Field History... April 11th

2009- Brandon Priebe of South Dakota State tore his ACL, LCL, IT Band, and Hamstring at the Jim Duncan Invitational hosted by the Drake Bulldogs during the 110 meter hurdle event.  Doctors said he would never hurdle again and maybe never run again but Brandon set out with a vengeance to prove all nay-sayers wrong.  It was but one year later when Brandon ran the 400m dash at the same meet.  Just a few weeks later he would attempt the 400 hurdles.  I was there on that day and there were a few scary moments but Brandon overcame them all.  The high hurdles still loomed in Brandon's memory but he has since overcame that fear to return to the top of the Summit League.