Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cerutty Stories

The following is an account of an incident that occurred while Percy Cerutty and Herb Elliott were touring California sometime before the 1960 Olympics. I am uncertain of the source of this excerpt but it possibly is from the first bio on Percy called Mr.Controversial written by Graem Kelly. Cerutty was always blunt and often tactless but he always told it like he perceived it.This is a great story.
"Aside from softness,perhaps nothing annoyed Percy more than a coach who failed to practice what he preached. While in Los Angeles, soon after Elliott ran the fastest mile ever recorded on American soil,they both attended an instructional clinic on track and field at UCLA. All of America's leading coaches were there along with their athletes who went through prescribed paces and demonstrations while the coaches lectured to the audience of nearly 2,000. Puffing their cigars and cigarettes,the American coaches glibly ordered their athletes around taking about 15 minutes each on the microphone system. When it was finally Cerutty's turn to speak, he was told he had two minutes. He didn't need three. According to Elliott, his coach "electrifed the arena" as he called "all the coaches a pack of pompous clowns who had no right teaching students in that fashion." When he'd finished, the coaches were bristling with anger and embarrassment."
If only we had some more coaches like Cerutty around today,how interesting it would be. You can bet it would generate more stories on running.

Tomorrow I will be posting an article. I've been delayed from writing as many as usual in the last few weeks because I have been taking a few day trips to run some trails.
The good thing about living on an island is that you've got the beach. The bad part is if I'm caught running up the sand dunes I can be fined. The other disadvantage is that there are no trails anywhere close by.But,it's still a great place to run.

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