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Red Track Spikes


Wes Santee's track footwear from the 1952 Helsinki OlypmicsWes Santee discovered certain footing in a couple of red leather track shoes manufactured in Helsinki, Finland.

"A man whom establishes out to become a singer within mile is something like a man which establishes out to find the many elegant approach to becoming hanged."- Paul O'Neil, Sports Illustrated, 1956

For centuries, numerous thought running one mile within just four mins become beyond person capability. When you look at the 1950s, three athletes from across the globe challenged that theory and raced to split the barrier. Included in this had been Wes Santee, a farm son from Ashland, Kansas.

Santee donated this group of track surges to the Kansas Museum of background in 1966. Manufactured because of the Finnish recreations gear organization Karhu, the brand name had been widely recognized and readily available worldwide. Numerous athletes wore surges within the 1950s because most paths were oval soil strips topped with cinder ash to reduce dust and supply effect consumption. Cinder became loose during summer months, as well as the track looked to muck in rainfall. To deliver grip, metallic surges were put into the bottoms of track footwear. While working for the University of Kansas, Santee had been nicknamed "The Dizzy Dean for the Cinders." (Dizzy Dean was in fact one of the best pitchers in baseball during 1930s.)

The child of a farmhand, Santee was created in 1932 on a farm outside Ashland where he spent hours plowing and breaking ponies. With no electrical energy, no operating liquid, with no interior plumbing system, Santee's youth ended up being Spartan also by 1930s criteria. Running ended up being an escape from daily toils and an abusive daddy. Santee competed in high-school track with a nearby mentor and against their father's objections. He won condition championships and smashed Glenn Cunningham's condition twelfth grade record.

A Tradition of Champions

In 1949 Santee enrolled at the University of Kansas, in which he found Coach Bill Easton to possess all of the qualities his parent lacked. Easton became a father figure to many of their professional athletes and Santee became section of an ever growing custom of track champions from Kansas. Glenn Cunningham of Elkhart had dominated US mile rushing twenty years previously. Thane Baker, another Elkhart native, won numerous Olympic medals for sprinting. A lot of the success of Kansas runners ended up being because mentor Easton.

Because of the summer time of 1952, Santee was one of a small number of elite athletes worldwide considered effective at working a four-minute-mile. The Olympic Games had been held in Helsinki, Finland, that year, but Santee didn't participate inside 1, 500 meter race-the Olympic mile. Instead, he ran within the 5, 000 meter race. In addition competing within Helsinki Olympics were Roger Bannister of The united kingdomt and John Landy of Australia. Along side Santee, these professional athletes were world-class rivals both in the mile and 1, 500 meters. Amazingly, though, not one of three medalled in Finland. Santee completed fourth inside 5, 000 meter race, their only event on games.

After their respective failings in Helsinki, these three brutal rivals went on to inspire each other through a general public fight for the four-minute-mile. Santee had been celebrated for a confidence some advertised bordered on arrogance. Following his Olympic defeat, he burst into the office of KU's school newspaper and declared he would end up being the first to-break the barrier. Sadly for him, Bannister completed a race in 3:59.5 minutes may 6, 1954, simply to be outdone 46 times later by Landy. A short time a while later, Santee recorded a period of 4:00.5 moments, the nearest he would started to their objective.

Regardless of this dissatisfaction, Santee ended up being a fantastic athlete who broke numerous globe records and captured numerous prestigious titles. In 1956 he set an innovative new world-record for the 1, 500 yards. Twice he smashed the planet record when it comes to interior mile, as soon as the interior 1, 500 meters. Santee had been world-ranked by-track & Field Information 36 months working in two different activities. Unfortunately, his job found an abrupt end in 1956 after a dispute because of the recreational Athletic Union. Their accomplishments were recognized recently by USA Track & Field when it inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2005. Santee died of cancer November 14, 2010, at their home in Eureka.

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Creator: Kansas Historical Community

Creator information: The Kansas Historical community is a situation company faced with actively safeguarding and sharing hawaii's record.



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