By Kylee O’Connor

Oregon Track Club board member Todd Bosworth has had the idea of a Sub-4 Reunion in the back of his mind for over 20 years. It wasn’t until the past few months that his idea finally came together and culminated into an event for the public to meet and hear from the legendary milers from Bill Bowerman’s era.

“Living in Eugene for 35 years, I’ve met a lot of people who are sub-4 minute milers,” Bosworth said. “A lot of people who you never would have believed were at the time, and the more you meet, the more you’re amazed of what they’ve done. Then, in the last couple of years I’ve thought about it more and more… So, I started making some calls to those guys to see if they were interested in it, and they all seemed very excited about it.”

Fans, media and athletes of all ages came to the John E. Jaqua Center on Friday for the Sub-4 reunion that was a fundraiser for OTC. Nine of  Bowerman’s 10 living sub-4 milers made the trip to Eugene for this event, put on by Bosworth. (The 11th sub-4 miler is the late Steve Prefontaine.)

Wade Bell, a 3 minutes 59.8 seconds Oregon miler who is still living in Eugene today, enjoyed meeting up with his old teammates but said that these reunions happen more often than one might think.

“All these guys are great guys—I’ve met with them, we’ve gotten together,” Bell said. “Probably over the last 25 years, we’ve met together numerous times—that’s not uncommon.”

Although this group of guys get together more often than not, this event still acted as a good platform for the community and all track fans alike to meet these men who have achieved such a remarkable accomplishment. Two other sub-4 milers, OTC Elite’s Andrew Wheating and Tom Farrell, moderated a panel discussion with the men.

Eight of the nine sub-4 milers who attended the event live in the northwest, so their trek to the Oregon campus wasn’t too far. For 3:59.4 miler Arne Kvalheim, the trip was a bit more extensive. Kvalheim lives in Norway, but when he first heard news of the event, he cleared his schedule and made the 4,700-mile trip to Eugene.

“I think it was a great experience,” Kvalheim said. “I really enjoyed it a lot.”

His teammate, Dave Wilborn, loved seeing his former teammates and hearing their stories. “It was a tremendous success,” Wilborn said. “There were some stories I hadn’t even heard, so that was great. It was fantastic.”

With the success of this year’s Sub-4 Mile Reunion, it could eventually become an annual event.

“I’ll take a pulse and see what people think,” Bosworth said. “If these guys are around and want to do it again next year, then we’d be happy to do it again.”