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02-09-2006 Walt Mizell

Comments on Bill Blewett's recollections

Bill, Thanks for a great story. I guess you had the privilege--or indignity--of competing against Ryun your entire career at OU. I had safely graduated before he got out of high school. My only brush with him came in the record books. In 1964, my senior year, I was running pretty well in the indoor season and when we went up to KU for an indoor dual meet
(this was in the old days when we ran on the dirt track in--I believe it was called--Allen Fieldhouse) I set the field house record. l:53.2 as I recall. The next year as a freshman Ryan broke that record by 0.1 second. The year after that he broke it by about 5 seconds--ran a 1:48-something. But I have always been able to say that it took Jim Ryun to break my record.

I ran into him in the early 1990's when my son was running Junior Olympics. He (Ryun, that is) had two daughters who were runners and when my son and I went to KU for a national indoor meet, Ryun's daughters were running and he was there. I talked to him briefly. The interesting thing was watching his daughters run. Do you remember the side-to-side motion with his head that Ryun had near the end of a race when he was really straining? His daughters had that same motion. You would have recognized it anywhere.

Running has been a big part of my life since my sophomore year in high school. I am still at it but very slowly now. I am almost adjusted the running trails. And now, when I want to stop and walk, I can almost always justify it by saying the body needs a rest. I used to do a lot of age group competition, but have not actually tried to " compete" for the last 4 or 5 years. Whenever I get the notion that I want
to get into competiton again, all it takes is one hard workout, and the aftereffects for the next week, to remind me that it's part of the past. But like you I learned a lot from the running experience and would not trade it for anything.

Thanks to George for keeping us all in touch. Hope things are going well for you and that you are still pounding out the miles on the trails.

Walt Mizell


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