Racing Past

The History of Middle and Long Distance Running

Racing Past - Articles - 1940s

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Arne Andersson v Gunder Hagg (1,500, 1944)
Great Races

Arne Andersson v Gunder Hägg (1944) 1,500 Gothenburg, Sweden, July 7, 1944 Great Races #4   Hagg forces the pace. Note the huge crowd.  In his first race of 1944, Gunder Hagg had been humiliated by Arne Andersson in a 1,500 race. Andersson had stayed with H...

Jack Holden

PROFILE: JACK HOLDEN 1907-2004   Of the many great runners that England has produced, Jack Holden stands near the top of the list. He wasn’t the elegant greyhound type of runner; he was built more like a boxer and ran on pure grit. Except during the Second World War, he competed at int...

Arne Andersson v Gunder Hagg (Mile, 1944)
Great Races

Gunder Hagg v. Arne Andersson One Mile Malmo, Sweden, July 18, 1944 A capacity crowd paid to see yet another great race between Arne Andersson and Gunder Hagg. The two Swedish runners had been rivals since 1942 and had had many exciting duels, often setting WRs in the process. Hagg had beaten And...

Gaston Reiff v Emil Zatopek (1948)
Great Races

Gaston Reiff v Emil Zatopek  1948 Olympic 5,000 Final Great Races #6 After his surprising win over WR holder Heino in the 10,000, Emil Zatopek lined up for the 5,000 as the crowd favorite. But there were two concerns about his chances: first, whether he had recovered from the earlier race, e...

Arne Andersson

PROFILE: ARNE ANDERSSON 1917-2009 b. Trollhätten, Sweden.  70kg/154lbs     5’10”/1.78   Andersson in his typical position behind Gunder Hägg. Note his muscular physique--unusual for a runner. It was a great honour for t...

1948 Olympic Games
Major Games

1948 Olympic Games     London, England July 29-August 14 With Great Britain still recovering from WW2, there was much opposition against holding the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Britons were still subject to severe rationing and economic hardship. Thus expensive preparati...

Gunder Hagg's Training

Gunder Hagg’s Training    (Much of the material for this article comes from Gunder Hägg's Dagbok, which was published in Stockholm by Tidens Förlag in 1952. I have also used an article, "Kanske Bättre Kondition än Någon Nånsin" written by Hagg for a ...

Gunder Hagg Profile

Gunder Hägg Profile 1918-2004  Hägg leads. Arne Andersson is close behind. This great Swedish runner set fifteen WRs between 1941 and 1945. He improved the Mile WR by 5.0 seconds, the 1,500 WR by 4.8 seconds, the 3,000 WR by 7.8 seconds and the 5,000 WR by 1...

Sydney Wooderson: New Profile

Sydney Wooderson New Profile   1914-2006    One of the great all-time British runners, Sydney Wooderson would surely be even more celebrated today had he been able to compete fully fit in an Olympic Games. Unluckily, in the only Games he qualified for, the 1936 ...


ProfileGreat RacesMajor Games1960s