USATF Foundation Ultimate Art Auction spotlights Jim Ryun


Tom Jackovic
Executive Director
USA Track & Field Foundation

Photo of artworkINDIANAPOLIS - The USA Track & Field Foundation has announced Jim Ryun will be among the distance running greats that will appear on a commissioned piece of art entitled, "Running Legends: A Signature Piece," honoring 12 of the greatest living American distance runners of all time. All proceeds from the auction will benefit USA Track & Field Foundation grant programs for emerging elite athletes and youth clubs.


In addition to Jim, the piece created by renowned artist Roald Bradstock includes the likenesses and original signatures of Joan Benoit Samuelson, Frank Shorter, Billy Mills, Bill Rodgers, Dave Wottle, Alberto Salazar, Steve Scott, Lynn Jennings, Mary Slaney, Bob Schul and Craig Virgin.

Interested parties may bid on beginning Friday, June 18 at 1:30 PM EST and ending on Sunday, June 27 at 1:30 PM EST, the last day of the Outdoor National Championships in Des Moines, IA. Please insert item number "130397667863" into the search box to access the auction web page.

Additionally, 25 limited edition prints (also with original signatures) will be available for purchase for $2,500.Interested parties may contact USATF Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic at or (412) 398-2484 for more information.


Date of Birth: April 29, 1947

USATF Hall of Fame Induction: 1980


800 Meters - 1:44.90

1,500 Meters - 3:33.101

Mile - 3:51.10

2 Miles - 8:25

The first high school runner to break 4 minutes in the one-mile run, Jim Ryun had yet to graduate from East High School in Wichita, Kans., when he made his first Olympic team in 1964. A year later, he set the American record of 3:55, beating Olympic champion Peter Snell of New Zealand. While at the University of Kansas, he became world record holder in the 800 yards and one-mile run at age 19 and gained the 1500m record the following year. In all, Ryun set six world records and held the world mile record for nine years and U.S. mile record for 14 years. He won three National AAU one-mile titles and five national collegiate titles, four of them indoors. In 1967, he received the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Although ill with mononucleosis in 1968, he made the Olympic team and fought off the rarefied air of Mexico City to take the silver medal in the 1500. He retired in 1969 but came back in 1971 and a year later, qualified for the Olympic team at 1500 meters. However, a fall at Munich ended his medal hopes. He turned professional in 1973 and later went into politics, becoming a U.S. Representative from Kansas.

Records Held

World Record: 1,500 Meters - 3:33.10 (July 8, 1967)

World Record: 1 Mile - 3:51.10 (June 23, 1967)


1968 Olympics: 1,500 Meters (2nd)


High School: East (Wichita, Kansas), 1965

Undergraduate: Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas), 1970


U.S. Congressman

Youth Running Camp

The USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors and from generous fans of track & field.

For more information or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation,