|Old adversaries - Billy Mills and Steve Gachupin|
As for meeting Mills, I mostly just wanted to shake the guy's hand and tell him that it was an honor to have him visit Santa Fe, but with Steve standing there I mentioned that the two of them had some history since they raced each other in the 1968 Olympic Marathon Trials in Alamosa. This was the correct thing to say and it started Mr. Mills off on a story about how he had run the Trials only to pace George Young to victory. Knowing that Young was from New Mexico I found this story more than a little compelling. Apparently it was Young's first marathon and he kept wanting to press the pace. As Mills tells it, he repeatedly advised George to hold back then sent him on his way at mile 20. George won the race and competed later that summer in Mexico City running 16th. Mills mailed in the rest of his Trials race, abandoning soon after 20mi, Gachupin claimed bragger's rights with a 15th place showing.
|1968 Marathon Trials - Gachupin at left, Kenny Moore of Oregon, George |
Young of Silver City (10), Billy Mills at right
Here's some video of Mills wrecking dudes on a cinder track in Tokyo. Olympic and American record, a PR by 50 seconds, and the making of an American legend.
- Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 2011
- Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 2013
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