Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 19, 1925 -- Paavo Nurmi Wins 3,000 Meter Run

April 19, 1925 --The Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, wins the 3,000 meter run at the first annual Loyola Relays at Grant Park stadium, today's Soldier Field. Rain in the morning left the track in poor condition, and the weather was cold and blustery. Still, 5,000 spectators watched as Nurmi covered the distance in 8:49.25, considerably off his world record of 8:32. The sensation from Finland was content to let fellow countryman Willie Ritola lead the pack through the stiff northerly winds until two laps remained. On the last curve he passed Ritola and went on to win by 20 yards. Refusing to pose for pictures, he gathered up his gear and headed into the locker room as the crowd cheered. In difficult conditions he and Ritola were the only two runners to finish the race. The statue of Nurvi, pictured below, stands outside the Helsinki Olympic stadium.

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