Sunday, February 20, 2011

Montana Running History

Here's a great piece on one of the big time studs of the running world and a Montana native.  Saw it this morning in the Missoulian and figured I just had to share it.

Montana history almanac: Deer Lodge native runs record 3-mile

Feb. 22, 1941
 Missoula's Greg Rice set a record for the three-mile run at the National AAU championships in New York's Madison Square Garden.

The 5-foot-5 Rice, with his parents Joseph and Mamie of Missoula watching in a crowd of 14,000, lapped all four of his rivals. He was timed in 13 minutes, 51 seconds, breaking his own record of 13:52.3.

It was the second world record in eight days for Rice, a 1939 Notre Dame graduate and the reigning Sullivan Award winner as the nation's top amateur athlete. On Feb. 15, at the New York Athletic Club Games, Rice set the indoor two-mile record. In March in Chicago, the 25-year-old Rice ran 2 miles faster than anyone had before, indoors or out - 8:51.1. Four days later he was declared physically unfit for the U.S. Army. The reason: A triple hernia.

Rice went on to win 55 straight races, though his shot at Olympic gold was dashed by World War II. The string ended in 1943 after joined the U.S. Maritime Service.

Born in Deer Lodge, Rice won state championships in the 880 and mile runs for three years running at Missoula County High School.

1 comment:

hayrunt said...

Careful. You're going to light my computer on fire with this blogging burst.