Last Updated on November 17, 2012 by Jimson Lee
If you have never seen the 1964 Tokyo Olympics 10,000 meter final, or particularly the last 2 laps, then you have never seen a “fiight to the finish”. You will have new meaning to the term “digging deep”.
My first reaction was, “What the hell are the lapped runners doing in Lane 1?”
Anytime you toe the line in an Olympic Final, you should always be thinking of putting yourself in a position to win Gold. You body’s physiology and genetics (and chemistry!) may think otherwise, but you have to go in each race with that mindset.
I’ve seen this race in Black and White, often on Olympic highlight reels, but this is the frst time I’ve seen it in colour. The video below is an excert from Kon Ichikawa’s “Tokyo Olympiad”.
Tokyo Olympiad – Criterion Collection
After the 1964 Tokyo 10K, we saw the ermergence (and dominace?) from African countries, making Billy Mill’s 10K victory even more special.
A little known fact about Billy Mills is that he also ran the Marathon after his 10K victory, finishing 14th in 2:22:55.4. I can think of a few famous 10k/Marathon “doublers” at he same Olympiad… Emil Zatopek (1952, Gold in 5K, 10K, and Marathon), Frank Shorter (1972, 5th in 10K, Gold in Marathon), Lasse Viren (1976, Gold in 5K, 10K, and 5th in Marathon). As long as the Marahon is AFTER the 10K, this is possible.
The women’s program didn’t do any justice in Athens 2004 as they had the events reversed. Paula Radcliffe attempted the 10K after she DNF in 2004 Athens marathon. This sort of reminds me of the dumb Suzy Favor Hamilton quote “saving myself for Zurich” excuse when she dropped out of the 1500m.
This year, the women’s 10K in Beijing is on Aug 15, followed by the Marathon on the 17th, so a double is possible.
The Men’s 10K is a straight final on Aug 17. Usually there are two rounds. The Marathon is traditionally held on the last day, on Aug 24th, along with the closing ceremonies.
Here is the video from YouTube in Colour over 9 minutes long.
UPDATE: Sorry, the video is no longer on YouTube.
Jimson, I like the humor in your statement, â€œWhat the hell are the lapped runners doing in Lane 1?â€ Maybe they are so mentally and physically beat at this moment that they can’t even respond properly.
Was there a protocol or a precedent established yet for running lanes in the longer races by the time the ’64 Toyko Olympics took place? Approximately when did the ethics of track distance running mature into its current form? What is the current acceptable standard for running in the proper lanes when one is going to be lapped? This may seem like a dumb question but what are the rules for a competitor running the 10k event?
Thanks. The first time I ever saw this race. Talk about seizing the moment. Very impressive surge.
Jimson Lee says
@Fred – My opinion is running is like driving a car.
If you are a slow driver in the left lane (in North America), just stay where you are and stay in a STRAIGHT LINE. Don’t do the “unexpected” and jump back to the other lane.
My open 200m career came to an end in training practice when a jogger in lane 1 jumped out of way into my lane 2 when he saw me coming from behind when doing repeat 200’s. I never recovered from that high hamstring pull.
He should have just stayed in lane 1.
10K Training says
Your video is nice and rear collection with color instead of black and white. Your information provided here is nice about 10K marathon. My opinion to post more information about marathon and racing.
10k Training says
Aspiring to say the least. I remember the first time I heard about this. Just the sheer determination of Mr Mills has helped me stay focused in not only business, but also my personal life.