White City, London, July 19th, 1957...time 8 p.m. Thirty thousand spectators are hushed in expectancy. They are joined by millions of television viewers for the most publicised mile in British athletic history. All but one of the runners - most of them famed throughout the world - move nervously to the start. There is the green vested Irishman, Ron Delaney, Olympic 1,500 metres champion...blonde Czech Stanislav Jungwirth, the fastest 1,500 metres runner in the world...dark handsome Polish champion Stevan Lewandowski...muscular Yorkshireman Ken Wood...debonair Oxonian Alan Gordon and diminutive Michael Blagrove. Odd man out is European mile record holder Derek Ibbotson. He is still joking as the runners fidget anxiously on the starting line.
This can be the moment of destiny for every athlete in the race. The strain is already telling on all but the smiling cavalier of the track - Derek Ibbotson. Yet 3 min. 57.2 secs. later it is Ibbotson who explodes through the tape into a dazzling flicker of press cameras to capture a new world mile record. Now Ibbotson's own vivid story of what it is like running in the great track meetings of the world, as told to Terry O'Connor, shows his puckish Yorkshire humour and down to earth frankness, giving an exposing insight into such headline runners as Kuts, Zatopek, Pirie, Landy and Chataway.
The drama of the Olympic Games, travelling across the continents of the world, romance in Moscow, judging world beauty contests, are also portrayed in this fascinating book. Not only sporting readers will be interested in this story of a young man who rose from the obscurity of Berry Brow, near Huddersfield, to be acclaimed Britain's "Sportsman of the Year".
Wear/tearing to dust jacket. Pages are clean and bright, with slight tanning to page edges.