Thomas Joseph Byers, Jr. (born May 12, 1955) is a former professional distance runner and current businessman. In 1981, when running as a designated pacemaker or 'rabbit' in the high-profile 1500 meters race at the Bislett Games in Oslo, he won against a field including Olympic champion and world record holder Steve Ovett, after the rest of the field refused to follow his early pacesetting.
Byers was a runner at Ohio State University in the 1970s and still holds the outdoor OSU distance record in the 1500m (3.37.5). He held the mile record (4:00.10.) until Jeff See broke it on June 2, 2007.During his time at OSU, he also won the U.S. Junior 1500m title, finished second at the AAU outdoor championships, and participated in the '76 Olympic Trials. Byers temporarily retired from competitive running for several years to join the corporate world, but returned to professional running in the 1980s. One thing for which Byers was noteworthy was his hair. Unlike most middle and long distance runners, who wore their hair short, Byers chose to wear his long.
His 3:50.84 mile ranks 11th fastest by a United States runner, while his 2:16.1 in the 1000 meters is the third fastest by a US runner.
Byers took a dramatic victory in the 1500m race of the 1981 Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway. The world record holder Steve Ovett was a strong favourite to win the race, and Byers had only been called in at the last minute to act as a pacemaker.But Ovett and the pack did not follow his pace, and Byers did not step off the track. He was leading by almost ten seconds going into the final lap. Ovett ran the last lap almost nine seconds quicker than Byers but finished second by 0.53s.
That same year, 1981, Byers went on to pace Sebastian Coe to two world records in the mile, on 19 August at the Weltklasse Zürich in Switzerland, and on 28 August at the Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
He had two sons. One of his sons, Thomas Joseph Byers III (1985–2005), was a distance runner for Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio (where he graduated in the same class as fellow student-athlete Brady Quinn), and went on to run at the University of Kentucky and the University of Mississippi. He died when he was struck by a train before his junior year at Kentucky.
Sir John George Walker, is a former middle-distance runner from New Zealand who won the gold medal in the men's 1500 m event at the 1976 Olympics. He was also the first person to run the mile in under 3:50. In more recent years, Walker has been active in local government, as an Auckland Councillor and representing the Manurewa-Papakura ward.
Stephen Cram, is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Jarrow Arrow", after his home town, Cram set world records in the 1,500 m, 2,000 m, and the mile during a 19-day period in the summer of 1985. He was the first man to run 1,500 m under 3 minutes and 30 seconds. He won the 1,500 m gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1,500 m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe,, often referred to as Seb Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including 1500 metres gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984. He set nine outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events – including, in 1979, setting three world records in the space of 41 days – and the world record he set in the 800 metres in 1981 remained unbroken until 1997. Coe's rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.
Stephen Michael James Ovett, is a retired British track athlete. A middle-distance runner, he was the gold medalist in the 800 metres at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and set 5 world records for 1500 metres and the mile run and a world record at two miles. He won 45 consecutive 1500 and mile races from 1977 to 1980.
Steve Scott is an American former track athlete and one of the greatest mile runners in American history. The silver medalist in the 1500 meters at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki in 1983, Scott owns the U.S. indoor record in the 2000 meters (4:58.6-1981). He held the American outdoor mile record for more than 26 years and also is the former American indoor record holder in the same event. Track & Field News ranked Scott #1 in the U.S. on 10 occasions, and 11 times during his career he was ranked in the top ten in the world by T&FN. Additionally, he participated for the US team at the 1984 Olympics. He finished 5th in the 1500 meter run at the 1988 Olympics held in Korea. Scott was also an Olympian on the 1980 Olympics team which was not allowed to go to Moscow. He ran the sub four-minute mile on 136 occasions in his career, more than any other runner in history.
The Dream Mile may refer to the annual Diamond League race in Oslo at Bislett Stadium, or several historic individual races featuring top middle-distance runners.
The women's 1500 metres at the 2004 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program were held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from August 24 to 28.
A pacemaker or pacesetter, sometimes informally called a rabbit, is a runner who leads a middle- or long-distance running event for the first section to ensure a fast time and avoid excessive tactical racing. Pacemakers are frequently employed by race organisers for world record attempts with specific instructions for lap times. Some athletes have essentially become professional pacemakers. A competitor who chooses the tactic of leading in order to win is called a front-runner rather than a pacemaker.
Thomas Wessinghage is a German former middle- and long-distance runner who won the 1982 European Championships' final over 5000 metres beating the British world-record holder David Moorcroft. Because he was already thirty at the time, and had been an international-level runner for a decade, this victory was a long-awaited one for him. He admitted that he decided to run the 5,000 metres instead of the 1,500 metres, because he lost to Ovett and Coe so often in the shorter distance. The fairly slow pace of the 1982 European Athletics Championships 5,000-metre final favoured Wessinghage, because he was in top form - having set a European record at 2,000 metres shortly before the Championships - and because he was the fastest 1,500-metre runner in the final, having run that distance in 3 minutes 31.6 seconds in 1980. Shortly after he started his final sprint with over 250 metres to go, Wessinghage moved into a decisive lead, stretching it into five metres by 4,800 metres and almost doubling it by 4,900 metres.
Peter Elliott is a former middle-distance runner from the United Kingdom. During his career, he won the gold medal in the 1500 metres at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, the silver medal in the 1500 metres at the 1988 Olympic Games, and the silver medal in the 800 metres at the 1987 World Championships.
Jack Richard Buckner is a male retired British athlete.
The mile run is a middle-distance foot race.
The men's 1500 metres was an event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. The final was held on August 11, 1984. Fifty-nine athletes from 40 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Sebastian Coe of Great Britain, the first man to successfully defend an Olympic 1500 metres title. Steve Cram's silver made it the first time a nation had gone 1–2 in the event since Great Britain had done it in 1920. José Manuel Abascal's bronze was Spain's first medal in the event.
The men's 800 metres was an event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union. There were a total number of 41 participating athletes from 28 nations, with six qualifying heats, three semifinals, and the final held on Saturday July 26, 1980. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Steve Ovett of Great Britain, the nation's first gold medal in the men's 800 metres since winning four in a row from 1920 to 1932. It was Great Britain's sixth overall title in the event.
Dragan Zdravković is a Serbian former middle-distance runner. He represented Yugoslavia in international competition from the late 1970s to 1980s, and was a finalist at the 1980 Summer Olympics. Zdravković holds multiple outdoor and indoor Serbian records in athletics.
Raymond P. Flynn is a retired middle-distance runner who works as a sports agent. Over the course of his racing career, Flynn ran a total of 89 sub-four minute miles, with his best time of 3:49.77 on 7 July 1982 in Oslo, Norway at the Bislett Games Dream Mile. He also held the Irish 1500 metres record for 41 years after running 3:33.5, in the same Oslo race.
Mark Fricker is a retired middle-distance track and field runner who achieved the sub-four-minute mile in the 1980s. Fricker failed to win many of the races he ran because he did not possess the fast finishing kick of his contemporaries like Steve Scott, John Walker, Eamon Coughlan, Sydney Maree, Ray Flynn and the other legends of 1980s mile racing. His only actionable strategy to win was to run hard from the beginning of the race.
These are the official results of the Men's 800 metres event at the 1978 European Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The final was held on 31 August 1978.
Charles Da'Vall Grice, informally known as Charlie Grice, is a British middle distance athlete.
A kick in a running race is the ability of some athletes to sprint at the end of an endurance-oriented race. For those who possess the ability to kick, it is a strategic weapon. For those with the liability not to possess a kick, they must seek different strategies to anticipate and diminish their opponent's kicking power, usually by a long extended surge to break away or exhaust their opponent well ahead of the finish of the race. Similar to a Sprinter in cycling, a kicker has a finite distance they know they are able to sprint, making their strategy to be in the ideal position at that distance to be able to utilize that speed. Sprinting too early could lead an athlete to tie up, a form of muscle cramp that debilitates a racer from continuing to kick. Thus team tactics might also intentionally or not, box a kicker, meaning to position other competitors to their outside, to disrupt their positioning and timing. Of course, as the finish is nearing and all athletes are straining, this becomes more difficult to accomplish deliberately.