City legend’s impact on running will never die

Bruce Tulloh wins a 5000m race at White City in the early 1960s
Bruce Tulloh wins a 5000m race at White City in the early 1960s
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A RUNNING great and City of Portsmouth legend.

European 5,000m champion Bruce Tulloh, who has died aged 82 after a battle with cancer, served City for nearly 60 years as runner and president.

Tulloh will be remembered for being the first non-African runner to compete bare-footed at international level.

And the Olympian earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records after taking on the mind-boggling challenge of running across America in 1968.

It was a feat the teacher achieved in 64 days and 23 hours, as he travelled from Los Angeles to New York – beating the previous best by more than four days.

Tulloh travelled 55 countries, running with the Nandi tribe in Kenya and the isolated running Tarahumara Indians in Mexico.

He wrote 23 books documenting his experiences, including Complete Distance Runner, Running is Easy and How to Avoid Dying – For as Long as Possible.

His book, Four Million Foosteps, on his American exploits, is regarded as one of the best running books of all time.

Tulloh also trained a number of athletes to success, including Olympian Richard Nerurkar and Kenyan Olympic bronze medallist Mike Boit.

It was at the Inter-Counties’ Championship at White City in 1959 Tulloh was noted for running with no spikes.

He went on to deliver his European title bare-footed on a cinder track in Athens in 1962.

Among his many running achievements was winning the AAA and Inter-Counties titles, setting a British six-mile record (27min 23.8sec), twice finishing runner-up at the National Cross-Country Championship and seventh in the International Cross-Country Championship.

It was along with another great, Martin Hyman, that Tulloh turned City into a dominant European force.

He joined the club in 1958 and helped them become the nation’s top outfit and National Cross-Country team champions in 1967, during the sport’s golden era.

Tulloh ran a sub-four minute mile bare-footed in 1962 – and it’s believed his attack with 400m to go helped New Zealand’s Peter Snell to a world record.

In a tribute to Tulloh, his life-long friend Hyman said: ‘Bruce’s performances will feature in the record books but more importantly he will be remembered as a brave and original thinker who will live on through the inspiring effect of his personality on countless folk with whom he interacted.’

Tulloh is survived by wife Sue and their children Clive, Jojo and Katherine.

Additional research: Ian Morrison.

n Bruce Tulloh, b. September 29, 1935, d. April 28, 2018