• Short Summary

    What makes Tony Waldrop run? Ask him and he'll quickly tell you -- It's Fun.


  • Description

    What makes Tony Waldrop run? Ask him and he'll quickly tell you -- It's Fun.

    That's his motto -- Run for Fun. He wears it splashed across the front of his track shirt.

    It all began back in high school in columbus, North Carolina, when Waldrop decided that trying to be a football hero was no fun.

    After high school, Waldrop went to the University of North Carolina on an academic scholarship -- not an athletic one. But he continued running as a member of the University track team. He said it helped him to relax between studies -- and it was still fun.

    Under the guidance of track coach Joe Hilton, Waldrop developed into a track and field superstar. During his last year of competition he won eleven consecutive races, and in each of them he ran the mile in less than four minutes.

    In one race he set the new world record for the indoor mile. And his best time outdoors -- three-minutes, 53.2 seconds -- was fast enough to start track and field experts talking about a new world's record -- maybe even a three-minute, 50 second mile, the goal of most milers today.

    Suddenly, Waldrop was the talk of the track and field set,
    Cameramen constantly asked him to pose Waldrop stoodstil for pictures. for it most although he felt he was of the time -- getting too much attention.

    Waldrop took the national attention and acclaim in stride for the most part, but inevitably the pressure began to build for one outstanding performance after another.

    When he ran in the Atlantic Coast Conference meet at Chapel Hill in May, he was suffering from a viral infection. Both he and his coach said later he should not have run, but he wanted to make a good showing for the fans at home.

    He did. He won the race and with another sub-fortunate mile -- his eleventh in a row. That was the last race Waldrop won.

    The next race he entered was he California Relays. He came in fourth, and well ever four minutes for the mile.

    Two weeks later, at the NCAA National Championships in Austin, Texas he came in third -- and again with a time over four minutes.

    Coach Hilton said Waldrop's poor showing was partly the result of his weakened condition caused by running when he was sick.

    Waldrop himself was reluctant to make excuses.

    Waldrop continued to work out, hoping to run in the AAU National Championships this weekend. But finally he decided he was still too weak and too tired to compete. It would be no fun to run that way, so he withdrew.

    What will he do -- now that he's graduated. Waldrop isn't sure, except that he wants to continue to run as an amateur. He said if he turned professional, and had to run for money, it would be too much like work and no fun.

    As for the three-minute-50-second mile, Waldrop says somebody is going to run it soon, but he's not setting that as his personal goal. To do that would take the fun out of running.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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