Join/Renew Now

Ron Laird

Photo of Ron Laird

Inducted: 1986, athlete

Born: May 31, 1938 - Louisville, Kentucky

Events
1,500 m race walk - 5:50.20
1 mi. race walk - 6:14.40
2 mi. race walk - 13:31
5 km race walk - 21:09
10 km race walk - 43:07
10 mi. race walk - 1:10:42
20 km race walk - 1:28:18
20 mi. race walk - 2:40:12
50 km race walk - 4:29:39


"Longevity" is a word that is synonymous with Ron Laird's race-walking career. "Success" is another. Laird's career spanned three decades in which he won 65 national championships. Laird's first taste of success came in 1958 when he won national titles in both the 20 and 25-kilometer walks, starting a streak in which he won at least one American title for the next 18 years. He had seven wins in 1965, eight in 1967 and nine in 1969. Laird's amazing string eclipsed Hall of Famer Henry Laskau's record of 42 American titles. At one point, Laird won five-straight 15 km titles. His highest win total in any event was seven in both the 15 km and one-hour races. Laird won his final title in 1976, the same year in which he made his fourth U.S. Olympic team (1960, 1964 and 1968 were the other three). He won the gold medal in the 20 km walk at the 1967 Pan-American Games after a fourth-place finish in 1963. He placed third at 20 km in the 1967 and 1973 World Cup. Laird held 81 American records at distances ranging from 1 km to 25 miles and was named six times as the outstanding U.S. race walker.

Championships
1960 Olympics: 50 km race walk - 4:53:22 (19th)
1964 Olympics: 20 km race walk
1968 Olympics: 20 km race walk - 1:44:38 (25th)
1976 Olympics: 20 km race walk - 1:33:28 (20th)
1967 World Cup: 20,000 m race walk (3rd)
1973 World Cup: 20,000 m race walk (3rd)
1964 AAU & Olympic Trials: 20 km race walk - 1:34:45 (1st)
1963 Pan-Am Games: 20,000 m race walk (4th)
1967 Pan-Am Games: 20,000 m race walk (1st)

Education
high school: Peekskill High School (Peekskill, New York), 1956

Occupations
Draftsman
House painter

Nike Visa BMW Gatorade Gill Athletics University of Phoenix St. Vincent Lynx