If you are a distance runner, you have heard of David Bedford. David Bedford, along with Ian Stewart, Brendan Foster, and Ron Hill, were part of the golden time in British Athletics, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Three of the four, Bedford, Stewart, and Foster, were also part of the group that helped bring British Athletics back from the very steps of doom. (That credit goes to Alan Pascoe and the Fast Track Agency, but that is another story).
David Bedford was the WR holder at 10,000 meters. On 13 July 1973, David Bedford ran 27:30.80 destroying Lasse Viren’s WR by eight seconds. Bedfords’ attitude, his mustache and his brash demeanor made him a huge favorite with British and global track fans. After his retirment from athletics, Bedford got involved in the beginnings of the London Marathon, and changed the concept of a global marathon forever.
I was very disappointed to hear that David Bedford resigned his position from the Virgin Money London Marathon, three years before many expected him to leave. We accept the decision begrudgingly, but wanted Mr. Bedford to know that many respect him and know he has gone to great lengths to build our sport and protect the integrity of the marathon. London Marathon was the first marathon to champion blood testing to fight doping. London Marathon was the marathon that took building fields to an amazing scale. Both were the work of Mr. David Bedford.
Here is a short video, done in June 2018, in Des Moines, my first trip since heart surgery, on my feelings on Mr. Bedford. I believe we shot 18-20 videos that day, and this was an early one, so it is pretty good. Adam, my son, did limit me to speaking four minutes, so I stayed on topic.
David Bedford, we look forward to having a beverage with you, and telling a few stories in a small, dark British pub of your choice, very soon. Thanks for dedicating the last few decades to our sport.