Bob Schul

Bob Schul

From WikiRun

Jump to: navigation, search
Bob Schul
Height 6'0" (184 cm)
Weight 146 lbs (66 kg)
Nationality United States
Born September 28, 1937 at West Milton, OH
College Miami U of Ohio '66
Club Dayton Athletic Club

Robert Keyser "Bob" Schull (1937-) is a former American long distance runner. As of 2009, he is the only American to have won the Olympic gold medal in the 5000 m, at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Schul began his career as a miler but on moving to the longer distances he set a world record for two miles and a U.S. 5,000m record. He was renowned for his devastating finishing kick and he turned on a 54.8 last lap in the Olympic 5,000m which none of the more favored runners could match.

Schul, born and raised on a farm in West Milton, Ohio, was born with asthma which bothered him throughout his career. He started running in seventh grade and continued through high school. (4:34.4 mile) After working for a year he continued his collegiate career, in 1956, at Miami University in Ohio where he broke the school record in the mile as a sophomore running 4:12.1 He joined the Air Force and for a year had limited training because of Air Force schooling. In May 1960, he was assigned to Oxnard AFB in California and Max Truex became his commanding officer. In June, after one month of good training, he ran the USA championships,placing fifth in his trial race, running 3:55 for 1500 meters. In 1961, Max Truex introduced Schul to Hungarian coach Mihaly Igloi. Under Igloi's training, he finished third at the national championships in the 3000 m steeplechase. Making the US team he became the fourth fastest steeplechaser ever, running against the Germans. His time was 8:47.8. In 1962 he ran well indoors at two miles (3 km) with only one American, Jim Beatty, running faster. Then with several poor races in the Spring he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and spent three months in an Air Force hospital. In 1963 indoors he was the American Champion in the US Indoor Championships running 13:39.3 for three miles (5 km). A few weeks later he ran the third fastest two miles (3 km) ever (8:37.5) behind Jim Beatty's world record of 8:30.7. With a partially torn soleus muscle he placed third in the 1963 Pan American Games at 5K but the injury kept him from competing in the U.S. Championships. Later in August he ran the fastest time for the year at two miles (3 km) for an American, posting 8:44.6.

Returning to Miami of Ohio in the fall of 1963 he continued using Igloi training with some modifications. In the Boston Knights of Columbus indoor meet, he broke the American record for three miles (5 km) running 13:31.4 which was the second fastest time ever run. After a four win and four loss record to Bruce Kidd of Canada each placing to the other and a second place finish to Alby Thomas of Australia when he set a new world record of 13:26.4, Schul did not lose a race. He beat Ron Clarke twice, first in Los Angeles and then in New York. Outdoors he did not lose a race through the Olympic Games in October beating Kidd, Gerry Lindgren, Billy Mills (multiple times), Baillie, Bill Dellinger among the top names. He first broke the American record in the 5000m at Compton running 13:38 for 5K and the following week won a mile race in San Diego beating Cary Weisiger in 3:59.1. He won the US Championship 5K at Rutgers in New Jersey and four days later, the first Olympic Trials at Randalls Island in New York. In June, he won the 5K against the Russians. In August he won a mile against Jim Grelle running 3:58.9 on a dirt track at Pierce Junior College. Two weeks later, on August 29th, 1964, he set a new world record for two miles (3 km), covering the distance in 8:26.4 on the same track. In September he easily qualified for the Olympic team with a win at the U.S. Olympic Trials. For the first time Track and Field News and Sports Illustrated picked and American to win a distance race. He went to the Games having the best time in the world in the 5K and the World record at the 2 miles. In Japan, the final was held in heavy rain. In the last lap, the Frenchman, Michel Jazy appeared poised to take the gold, as he had opened up a ten meter lead on the back stretch, but Schul would run a 37.8 for the last 300 meters, on a muddy track. He caught Jazy 50 meters before the finish line, and pulled away for a ten meter victory to take the goldl. After returning home Schul's knee was hurting and he could not run for four months. Using a YMCA pool and stationary bicycle, throughout the Winter, he resumed running in March of 1965.

With only three months of training Schul did win the national title in 1965, in the 3 mile, setting a new American record, running 13:10.4. He stated afterward "it was the toughest race I ran and won".

He never managed to regain his 1964 level but in Europe he did run personal bests at 1500 meters, 3:40.7 and 3K in 7:59.9. All were on cinder tracks.

In August of 1965 his knee began hurting again and Bob decided to retire. He graduated in 1966. He still holds the Miami of Ohio school records for Mile (3:59.1), Two Miles (8:47.3) and Three Miles (13:15.6).[1] He resumed training in 1967 for fitness purpsoes and this led him to the Olympic trials at South Lake Tahoe. With numerous injuries and limited training he still managed to place fifth in the final. In that final he had an asthma attack after a few laps, and struggled throughout, fainting as he crossed the finish line.

In 1971, for one year, he served as the National coach for Malaysia and the moved back to the U.S. re-settling in Ohio. In his spare time he continued to train club athletes without charge to the runners. In 1978, the Air Force sent all their top distance runners to Wright Patterson Air Force Base to train under Schul. After a year of training many of the athletes reduced their times enough to compete in National events. Schul participated in road races along with his club athletes until age sixty when his right leg and back problems prevented further racing. Along the way Schul became a top master runner. (33.55 10K at age fifty; 76:00 for a half marathon age fifty; 17:56 for 5K at age 60). In October 2007, Bob had his right hip replaced. He is hopeful that he can run for fitness in the future. The hip injury was a result of a High School football injury.

At present, Schul is still involved in track and field as a coach. he is retired as a collegiate coach. Schul speaks at running events across the U.S. and internationally.

In 1973, Schul was inducted into the Miami of Ohio athletic Hall of Fame.[1] In 1991, Schul was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, into the RRCA Hall of Fame in 2003, and into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2005.[2]


Personal records

  • 440 yards 50.00 (relay 48.8)
  • 880 yards 1:52
  • 1500 meters 3:40.7
  • mile 3:58.9
  • 2000 meters 5:10.2
  • 3000 meters 7:59.9
  • 3K Steeplechase 8:47.6
  • 2 mile 8:26.4
  • 3 mile 13:10.4 (asphalt)
  • 5000 meters 13:38

Schul held 5 American and 1 World record.

National championships

  • 1963 Indoor 3 mile
  • 1964 Outdoor 5K
  • 1965 Outdoor 3 mile

External links


  • Bob Schul Training Manual (self-published)
  • Bob Schul with Laura Karuse, In The Long Run. Landfall Press (2000) ISBN 978-0913428825


  1. 1.0 1.1 Retrieved 2009-09-01.
  2. Retrieved 2009-09-01.