Welsh athletics superstar Bob Maplestone dies in the USA (the first Briton to run a mile indoors in under 4 minutes)


Bob Mapplestone.jpg Bob Maplestone leads in BAL opening fixture of 1969 from Ray Roseman and teammate Bernie Plain, courtesy Welsh Athletics

Bob Maplestone, the first Briton to run a mile indoors in under 4 minutes, way back in 1972, in San Diego, timed at 3:59.5, died on 4 Jan in Seattle, WA at the age of 74. We have posted and linked to a piece in the Welsh Athletics blog and also a piece in Seattle.

Peter John Thompson sent us the note on Bob Maplestone, and had this to say:

"He was a friend of mine from the early 1970s on. I know that some of you knew him as well but don't know who of you ever had the opportunity to meet him or how well you knew him. A lovely family guy with 3 children and now grandchildren and someone who never forgot their Welsh roots.

Bob had a storied career as a miler with tactical nous, including the achievement of being the first British athlete to run a sub-4 minutes mile indoors. He then turned his skills to collegiate coaching and collegiate lecturing."

P1029021.JPGBob Maplestone, photo by Peter J. Thompson

Peter concluded: "He was the best type of friend, where you start off every time you meet as if there had been no intervening time. We had such great times, including the wild and crazy Fort Flagler summer running camps we organized on Marrowstone Island in Puget Sound."

Bob Maplestone, rest in peace.

Bob Mapplestone.jpg

04/01/2021 00:00, In Blog / Track & Field /

Cardiff-born Bob Maplestone [no.8 in image], the first Briton to run a mile indoors in under 4 minutes died on Saturday (January 2nd) in his adopted home of Seattle, USA aged 74. He ran 3.59.5 indoors in San Diego in February 1972, and went on to run 3.58.5 outdoors in 1973.

Welsh athletics superstar Bob Maplestone dies in the USA

Clive Williams reports on the death of a fine athlete, who didn't forget his Welsh roots despite being based in the USA for 50 years.

He achieved this phenomenal performance in San Diego in 1972 with a time of 3 mins 59.5 secs, just under 18 years after Roger Bannister became the first man in the world to better 4 minutes with his world record 3 mins 59.4 in Oxford. Bob's time would not be out of place today, almost 50 years after his tremendous feat. But the laid-back Maplestone didn't realise that he had set a British record when dipping under the once magical 4-minute barrier all those years ago. He thought of it as just another race. As a result, the time was never ratified as a British record. Recalling that run a few years ago he told me:

click on: https://www.welshathletics.org/en/blog/post/sub-4-miler-bob-maplestone-passes-away

A second piece on Bob Maplestone:

Whether with his feet or his wit, legendary runner Bob Maplestone was hard to beat

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 4, 2021


Bob Maplestone RIP: Bob Maplestone RIP.pdf

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