Ronnie Delany: Staying the Distance (Hardback)Ronnie Delany (author)
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In December 1956 Ronnie Delany sprinted home to win the gold medal in the 1500m Olympic final in Melbourne, setting a new Olympic record in the process. In the depressed Ireland of the fifties, Delany's win - an outsider storming ahead to beat the favourites - caught the imagination of a nation, and made him a sporting icon.
In Staying the Distance, Delany tells the story of his childhood in Arklow and Sandymount, his early triumphs on the Irish athletics circuit and his realisation that he had it in him to become a great runner.
In 1954 Delany won an athletics scholarship to Villanova University in Pennsylvania where he trained under legendary coach Jumbo Elliot. To a naive Irish boy in the 1950s, American campus life was glamorous and exciting, and as well as athletics training, there were dances and study sessions, girlfriends and theatrical productions, all brought to life in his own words. Delany's speed was increasing all the time; in 1954, he reached the final of the 800m at the European Championships, and in 1956 became only the seventh runner to join the exclusive club of four-minute milers. Then came his phenomenal win in Melbourne, and a new Irish hero was born.
Though most famous in Ireland for his Olympic win, Delany pursued his running career in the US, where from March 1955 through March of 1959 he ran thirty-four major indoor mile races against all kinds of opponents, domestic and foreign, and won them all. He broke the indoor world record for the mile three times. The excitement of indoor racing was enhanced by an orchestra; When Irish Eyes are Smiling was a popular number during Delany's incredible forty race winning streak.
Fifty years on from the Melbourne Olympics, Ronnie Delany tells the story of his life and career in his own warm and engaging style. Lavishly illustrated with photographs spanning his athletic career, this is the story of one of Ireland's greatest and best-loved sportsmen.
Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 734 g
Dimensions: 240 x 170 x 19 mm
a real classic ... a must read-- Irish Runner
'Thoughtful and thorough account . . . beautifully presented with dozens of classic photographs and Delany the narrator.'-- The Irish Times * The Irish Times *
'Ronnie Delany holds a special place in the Irish sporting imagination . . . half a century on, the achievements still resound.'-- Irish Examiner * The Irish Examiner *
'The myth was born, now they can meet the man.'-- Sunday Times
'Staying the Distance is a grand book: it is a voice from another age. Its honesty and innocence will enthrall you'-- Irish Runner