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Track and field legend Jim Ryun returns to Bakersfield, where he made history

Jim Ryun world record

In this June 23, 1967, photo, Jim Ryun crosses the tape at the finish line of the National Amateur Athletic Union mile race at Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield in a world-record time of 3:51.1. The record stood for nearly eight years and for more than 14 years as the American record.

Jim Ryun will return this week to the scene of his record-setting performance over 50 years ago.

Ryun, who blew away the existing world record in the outdoor mile with a time of 3:51.1 at Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium on June 23, 1967 in the National Amateur Athletic Union Championships, will be honored this weekend at BC during the CCCAA State Track and Field Championships.

Thursday, there will be a meet and greet with Ryun at the Sheraton Hotel on California Avenue. Fans can pay $20 to meet and get a photograph with the Olympic Medalist and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

That event is in conjunction with the track and field championships, which will be held at Memorial Stadium Friday and Saturday. Ryun will be honored during Saturday’s opening ceremonies at 3:45 p.m. and will also present awards for some of Saturday’s races.

Ryun’s run in Bakersfield was one of the most storied miles of all time, as he ran in front the entire distance. Six other runners finished under the four-minute barrier that day.

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