Jim Ryun Festival Of Miles: June 5, 2014


RESULTS: 2014 Jim Ryun Festival of Miles

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. 

June 5, 2014

Balboa Stadium

San Diego, California

A national coalition including representatives from the San Diego Track ClubBring Back the MileCompetitor 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.”

“Jim’s performance in 1964 left an indelible mark on our sport. At the time, running sub-4:00 was rarefied air and Jim did it as a junior in high school. He still holds five of the top six high school Miles in history, including the landmark defeat of Olympic champion Peter Snell at Balboa Stadium in 1965. These feats, coupled with him reaching the semifinals of the 1964 Olympic Games, are why ESPN named him the top high school athlete of the century. There’s a reason why Jim has moreSports Illustrated covers than any other track & field athlete in history, he changed our sport,” said Josh Cox, co-chairman of the planning committee. “With San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon the weekend before, it was a natural fit to work with the Competitor Group and plan a week-long celebration of running, culminating with a Festival of Miles that’s free and open to the public on Thursday night, June 5.”

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 Chick-fil-A stores, The Westin, Vision Biotechnology Consulting, Competitor Group, Inc. and the USATF San Diego-Imperial Chapter.

Who will be there?

A long list of notable milers, middle-distance stars and running celebrities will be on hand to race, spectate and help us celebrate. Those people include:

— Alan Webb: American high school record holder for 1-mile (3:53.43), American 1-mile record holder (3:46.91)
— Lukas Verzbicas: Last American high schooler to run under 4:00 for 1 mile (3:59.71)
— Joaquim Cruz: 800m gold medalist, 1984 Olympic Games; 800m PR of 1:41.77
— Jose Luis Barbosa: Former Brazilian 800m runner, who won the silver medal at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
— Sheila Burrell: Heptathlete, 2004 Olympic Trials champion; 2001 World Outdoor bronze medalist; 4-time USA Outdoor champion (99, 02, 03, 04)
— Lazlo Tabori: Hungarian-American runner, best known for equalling the 1500 metres world record and placing 4th in that event at the 1956 Summer Olympics
— Jamie Nieto: Three-time U.S. outdoor champion in the high jump
— Toni Campbell: Former internationally ranked hurdler
— Wes Williams: Top U.S. hurdler in the 1970s, coaches at Cal State San Marcos
— Thom Hunt: Ran 4:02 for indoor mile in high school. Qualified for four Olympic Trials. Set U.S. 10K road record in 1981.
— AJ Acosta: 8-time All-American at Oregon. Co-holder of Oregon 1,500m school record of 3:36.48 along with Joaquim Cruz
— Tim Seaman: Two-time Olympian, multiple American race walking records and the most successful race walker in U.S. history.
— Coach Bob Larsen: Coach of Meb Keflezighi and co-founder of the Mammoth Track Club
— Mary Decker Slaney: 1500- and 3000-meter gold medalist at the 1983 World Championships. Set 17 official and unofficial world records and 36 US national records.
— Julia Stamps Mallon: Footlocker national champion and three-time California state champion in cross country; six-time NCAA DI cross country and track All-American at Stanford
— Darcy Arreola Lange: 3-Time Olympic Trials 1500m competitor (1988, 1992 & 1996); 3-time U.S. team member
— Jearl Miles Clark: American record in the women’s 800m (1:56.40)
— Josh Cox: 50k American Record holder, 4-time Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, 3-time US National Team member. Fastest 50k time in the world in 2009 & 2011.

Parking For The Jim Ryun Festival of Miles

Entry Standards

Women’s Masters Mile: 5:20 and faster or the fastest 15 seeded times of competitors entered

Men’s Masters Mile: CLOSED. Field has been filled. 

Girls High School Mile: 5:14 and faster or the fastest 15 seeded times of competitors entered

Boys High School Mile: 4:22 and faster or the fastest 15 seeded times of competitors entered

Women’s Elite Mile: 4:50 for the mile or faster and/or 4:30 for 1500 meters and faster

Men’s Elite Mile: 4:08 for the mile or faster and/or 3:50 for 1500 meters and faster

To be considered for entry into the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles, please e-mail Paul Greer at pauliegreer@gmail.com.

HS Mile Final Instructions




Reminder to ALL competitors:

  1. NO school issued equipment; you are running as an Individual or Club member.
  2. 3/16th inch spikes only.
  3. Because we are celebrating Jim Ryun’s 50th. Anniversary, we are running the exact same configuration he ran in 1964. That means you are starting and finishing in the Middle of the West Straight a Way.


Athletes TimeLine

6:45          Girls Report to me, Dan Schaitel in the Warm-up area. The warm-up area is located on the Baseball Field, North of the Stadium. Look for the large White tent. I will serve as your Clerk of the Course.

7:00          Boys Report to me, Dan Schaitel in the Warm-up area. The warm up area is located on the Baseball Field, North of the Stadium. Look for the large White tent. I will serve as your Clerk of the Course.

7:40          Girls enter the Track through the ramp on the North end; Hip number will be issued on the track.

7:55          Boys enter the Track through the ramp on the North end; hip numbers will be issued on the track.

7:58          Introduction of the Girls High School Mile Competitors

8:00          Girls High School Mile Race

8:10          Girls High School Mile Awards Ceremony

8:13          Introduction of the Boys High School Mile Competitors

8:15          Boys High School Mile Race

8:25          Boys High School Mile Awards Ceremony

8:25          Girls High School competitors exit the track area

8:37          Boys High School competitors exit the track area

9:20          All High School competitors invited to the Post Meet Celebration

Other Important Details

Traffic and Parking may be problems we recommend you use the parking lot #2 across the bridge. Access off Park Blvd. 2125 Park Blvd. Please do not attempt to use the lots near City College.
Warm up on the baseball outfield; please do not go on the infield area.
Please remember there will be continuous racing from 5:00 to 9:00. Elite Women run at 8:50 with Elite Men going at 9:00.
Jim Ryun will be at the Post Meet Celebration for your pictures.
Most of all, Enjoy the evening!

Good Luck,

Dan Schaitel, High School Mile Coordinator

Recent Stories