Herb Elliott

Birthday: 02/25/38 Mile PR: 3:54.5 - 1958 (former world record)
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 3:35.6 - 1960 (former world record)
High School: Aquinas College - Perth
Hometown: Perth, AUS
College: Melbourne University / Cambridge University
Current Residence: Byron Bay, AUS

Herb Elliott of Australia had a relatively short, but incredibly historic racing career (1957-61) and many in the sport consider him the greatest Mile athlete ever as the legend was only beaten once at 1500 meters (as a Junior athlete) and went undefeated in the Mile (36 victories with 17 sub-4 minute performances).

His international breakout year was 1958 when Elliott won gold medals in the 880 and Mile at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, and then, a few weeks later on August 6 in Dublin, he shattered the Mile world record by 2.7 seconds, clocking 3:54.5, and later on August 28 in Göteborg, the AAU Mile champion also set the 1500 meter WR with his 3:36.0. For his spectacular year, Elliott was selected as the Male Athlete-of-the-Year by the Associated Press.

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Elliott capped his stellar career as he dominated the 1500 meters to win gold by a record 2.8 seconds and also set a rare world record at the Olympics, running 3:35.6.

Post-track career, Elliott worked as the CEO of Puma North America and also served as Director of Athlete & Corporate Relations for the Australian Olympic Committee.

FUN FACT: His coach was the eccentric, mystical Percy Cerutty who put his athletes on a special diet of grains & fruit and created a stoic training camp at Portsea, Australia for his charges to “embrace the pain”.

FUN FACT II: On February 15, 1958 in Perth, Australia, Elliott recorded the first sub-4 minute Mile on grass, running 3:59.6 and narrowly edging countryman & rival Merv Lincoln (who had the same time)!

FUN FACT III: In the Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors List of 1964, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).


Sixty years on from the night five men made Mile history in Santry

July 31, 2018

It was simply the most significant race ever run in Ireland, despite the intrusion of a black and white mongrel dog midway through the race, and it lived up to its billing to the letter.

By Peter Byrne for The Irish Times

In an extract from his forthcoming book Winning for Ireland, Peter...

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Herb Elliott won Mile gold in breathtaking style at Cardiff Commonwealth Games

March 19, 2018

The legend clocked a 3:59.03 Mile, with teammates Merv Lincoln securing silver and Albie Thomas overtaking Gordon Pirie to give Australia a 1-2-3 medal sweep

By Mike Colman, The Courier-Mail

Herb Elliott will always be best remembered for his world record-breaking run to win the 1500m at the...

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‘A Body Built on Pain’ – The Training of Herb Elliott

June 30, 2017

 “In the winter and spring of 1957, I must have run 2,500 miles in training and lifted thousands of pounds in weights.”

By Runner's Tribe

Personal Records

  • 800m: 1:46.70 (estimated from 880 yard time of 1:47.30)
  • 1500m: 3:35.60 (former Olympic and World Records)
  • Mile:  3:54.50...
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Herb Elliott on how to succeed in life & sport

August 13, 2016

“There was no reason for me to continue running. There was no money in it, I had a family, I wasn’t a wealthy fellow so I needed to go out and get a job.”

By Billy Rule, PerthNow

FROM this weekend, the best runners in the world will be faced with a question.

For four years they’ve been...

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Herb Elliott motivated by pursuit of perfection

February 23, 2014

The 1960 Olympic champion and Mile world record holder has spiritual depth to match his athletic ability.

By Daniel Lane, Sydney Morning Herald

Herb Elliott, who dominated the 1500 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympics, theorises that if life is a race, it is best to focus on personal perfection...

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Who is the ultimate Supermiler?

April 27, 2014

As the 60th anniversary of the first sub-4 minute Mile approaches, tell us who you believe to be the leading Miler of all-time

From Athletics Weekly

Roger Bannister’s 3:59.4 Mile of almost 60 years ago is one of the most revered performances in athletics history.

Being the first man to run...

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An Exclusive Club

June 27, 1994

Forty years after Roger Bannister broke four minutes, the brotherhood of Mile record holders gathered to honor their grand obsession

By Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated

Never join someone who eclipses you. Align yourself with one who increases your luster. The man who puts you in the shade...

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The New Herb Elliott

May 30, 1960

Australia's superb Miler may still be the best in the world, but he has lost his fierce dedication. Now he faces the challenge of Oregon's Dyrol Burleson, who is still hungry

By Tex Maule, Sports Illustrated

Two years ago a grim, young, hawk-nosed Australian named Herb Elliott was the talk...

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The Amazing Herb Elliott

November 10, 1958

Led by a fanatic and driven by private furies, Australia's fantastic Miler finds solace and satisfaction in pushing himself beyond endurance: "All I want to do is win."

By Don Connery, Sports Illustrated

On a primeval, wind-swept beach at Portsea, a curling tongue of scruffy Cape Cod land 60...

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