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Ron Hill: Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion dies aged 82

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Sluffy

Sluffy
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Ron Hill: Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion dies aged 82 _118622915_hill_gettytwo

Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion Ron Hill has died aged 82.

Hill represented Britain at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and at Munich in 1972.

In 1970 he became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon, breaking the course record, and won Commonwealth gold the same year in a time of two hours nine minutes 28 seconds.

Hill also ran at least one mile every single day for 52 years and 39 days before ending his streak aged 78.

The Accrington-born athlete ran every day from 20 December 1964 to 31 January 2017 - including after snapping his sternum in a car accident in 1993.

His winning time at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh made him only the second man to break 2:10 for the marathon, and he still ranks as the 12th fastest Briton of all time over the 26.2-mile distance, while his winning time in Boston of 2:10:30 took more than three minutes off the existing course record.

Hill also won marathon gold at the 1969 European Championships.

He later founded a sportswear company, which paid tribute on Sunday to "our founder, our inspiration, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a runner".

Ron Hill: Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion dies aged 82 _93880811_0fdfce2c-3e38-4b14-932b-635385db7499

- Won the English Cross Country Championships in 1966
- Represented Great Britain in the marathon at the 1964 Tokyo and 1972 Munich Olympics (pictured), though medals eluded him
- Became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon in 1970 with a time of 2hrs 10mins 30secs
- Won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in the same year, recording a time of 2hrs 9mins 28secs
- Was the first person to use synthetic fabrics in sportswear following a career as a textile chemist, leading him to set up Ron Hill Sports in September 1970
- Ran every day from 20 December 1964 to 31 January 2017 - even with a snapped sternum following a car crash in 1993 and for six weeks in a plaster cast after an operation on his foot.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/57220289

RIP

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Very sad news. A genuine legend. RIP Ron.

Hip Priest

Hip Priest
Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
RIP Ron. Really sad news. I remember going to Leverhulme park in about 1971 with thousands of others to watch his attempt to break some track world record or other ( I think it was Emile Zatopek's ) and of course he did it. Think it was 10,000 metres record.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@Hip Priest wrote:RIP Ron. Really sad news. I remember going to Leverhulme park in about 1971 with thousands of others to watch his attempt to break some track world record or other ( I think it was Emile Zatopek's ) and of course he did it. Think it was 10,000 metres record.

Seems you were watching him break the 25,000m record (and the 15 mile record along the way) in 1965.

I seem to recall reading about it in the BEN at the time but didn't see him doing so live like you. -

Born in Accrington in the north-west of England in September 1938, Hill first came to prominence in the early 1960s and made his international debut at the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade. He failed to finish the marathon there, however, and fared only slightly better at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finishing a distant 18th in the 10,000m and 19th in the marathon.

Hill rebounded one year later [1965], though, and set the first world record of his career. Competing at the Leverhulme Park track in Bolton, Hill broke two of Emil Zatopek’s long-standing world records in one fell swoop, clocking 1:15:22.6 for 25,000m and passing through 15 miles en route in 1:12:48.2.

His championship performances started to improve in the late 1960s as he placed 12th in the marathon at the 1966 European Championships and seventh in the 10,000m at the 1968 Olympics, having been controversially overlooked for a place on the marathon team.

He set two more world records in 1968, both at 10 miles. In April he clocked 47:02.2 in Leicester to break Ron Clark’s record, passing through 10,000m in 29:09.4 and 15,000m in 43:54, an unofficial world best time.

Later that year [1968], one month after his Olympic appearance, Hill attempted to break Gaston Roelants’ one hour world record of 20,784m. He fell slightly short of that target, covering 20,471m, but passed through 10 miles in a world record time of 46:44.0.

Though that was to be the last world record of his career, Hill became a big-time performer from that point onwards, winning big city marathons and landing major medals.

More here -

https://www.worldathletics.org/heritage/news/ron-hill-obituary

Hip Priest

Hip Priest
Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
I had the feeling I was about 14/15 when I watched it but if it was 1965 I would have only been about 11. If the 1968 record was at Leverhulme then it would have been that one but if not it must have been the double Zatopeck break in 1965 as you say Sluffy.

finlaymcdanger

finlaymcdanger
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
Sad to hear. RIP Ron. I was a keen runner in my youth and would only ever run in Ron Hill vests and shorts.

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