Toe the Mark
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (retired)
Running programs in Chico in the 1970s were similar to those elsewhere. Famed University of Oregon coach Bill Bowerman had introduced the sport of jogging; American Frank Shorter was the winner of the marathon at the 1972 Olympics; and Steve Prefontaine, running for Oregon, drew thousands of fans to see him race. A distant 384 miles south of Eugene, Oregon, lay Chico, a small rural town in northern California. In these exciting times, a high school coach there put together the top Cross Country teams and developed the best collection of distance runners the town had seen, then or since. Included among the male and female athletes were the “Charlie’s Angels”—seven high school girls which, in 1977, Harrier magazine ranked second in the nation. Five years earlier, an elite miler at the local college had the community abuzz with his quest to break the magic four-minute barrier. Meanwhile, two feisty marathoners (former college boxers) were leading the road-racing contingent in town. While doing so, they met the existing Olympic Trials qualifying standard for the 26.2-mile race. This book transports readers back to an age of innocence and excellence to run in the footsteps of the athletes of that era. One hundred and fourteen photographs add value to this work.
2022, 6x9, paper, 270 pp.