In 1983 American Scott Rider had hit the world-class scene, as the Ohio High School State Champion would toe the line hoping to battle against Coe in that world record 800 race.
This writer caught up with Ryder, who fights a different yet inspirational battle today, which has been shaped by his experiences in the World-Class stage.
Scott Rider: “I became interested in running after watching my two older brothers, who ran track and cross country in junior high and high school. In fact, in the summertime, I used to take their track shoes and stuff tissue paper in the toes so they would fit my feet, and I would run around the block in our neighborhood. The spikes were long because the track was made of cinders in those days. To this day, I can hear the click click click as I’d run over the neighbor’s driveway and then transfer into the yard and then run to the next driveway and transfer through the yard, etc.. In junior high, I tried just about every event.
In ninth grade, I ran 2:08 in the 880, and that became my event for some reason. In January of my 10th-grade year, I ran an indoor track meet with no training and ran a 4:17 mile. To this day, I regret not moving up to the 1500/mile. I think I would have had more success in the mile vs the 800m.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I always loved to run. In high school, I was twice the state champion in the large division of Ohio high school athletics, running 1:52.4 as a senior. Interestingly, I just narrowly missed making the state track meet in the 100. I had run a 10.8 100m earlier in the season, and for some crazy reason, I wanted to try to make the state meet in the 100 and 800. In retrospect, I’m glad that I did not make the state meet in the 100.
2) How were you selected to run in the 800 race vs. Seb Coe?
Scott Rider: “In 1983, I was having a good indoor season. I actually finished second in the Mobile Grand Prix behind Mark Belger. I don’t remember all the details about the season, but I remember I won the 800 or the 1000 in meets such as the LA Times, Cleveland, KofC, Louisville, and Chicago. I did not perform well in the indoor championship meet. I am not referring to the collegiate championships but the national championship meet that included professionals.
In 1982, my senior year at Ohio State, I finished the season as the number 10 ranked 800 m runners in the US, according to track and field news.
Originally, I was not selected to run in the race in Cosford….
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