Some of My Memories of the East York Track Club


Coach Fred Foot started the East York Track Club in 1948. East York was a municipality within Toronto. It is now a Borough. The club was originally a sprinters club and was known for its excellent sprint relays from the beginning. It is my understanding that the EYTC had at least one member on each Canadian Olympic Team from 1948 to 1984. In 1956 Canada’s whole sprint team was made up of members of the East York Track Club. In addition Fred Foot was the Olympic Coach. I understand that when Coach Foot returned from Melbourne he had a completely new approach to training.
I grew up in Timmins, a gold mining town 340 miles directly north of Toronto. I remember hearing of the sprinting exploits of Stan Levinson, Joe Forman, Jack Parrington and Dick Harding on the sports news on the radio in 1955 and 1956. In the fall of 1959, after graduating from the University of Western Ontario, I was fortunate to have been able to join in the Training of the East York Club.
East York collegiate had a 440 dirt/cinder track. The club met there each evening of the summer to train together. Usually, spikes were worn. There were 25 to 30 athletes. Occasionally, especially in the fall and spring we all trained together but usually we divided into groups–sprinters, middle distance runners and distance runners. The new runners and others trained in other groups until they were strong enough to join one the those three groups. All workouts were timed. Most training consisted of doing intervals.
Here is a sample of a typical week of training done by the distance group in the fall (September through October). I have not included the pace because it varied through the years and from group to group.
Mon—8x880 with a 440 jog
Tues—6-8 x 3/4 mile with a 440 jog
Wed—20 x 330 with a 110 jog
Thurs–20x 440 with 220 or 440 jog
Fri-----Rest or repeat Wednesday’s workout
Sat----Race or repeated intervals in hills, followed by a 3 to 6 mile run through the hills.
Sun----Rest (As the years went by some of us would do longer runs together. Bruce Kidd and I sometimes ran about 17 miles on Saturday or Sunday often at a good clip.)

Summer training–(May and June only. After June , training volume and intensity were reduced due to the hot weather) was done on a cinder track.
Mon—8x 3/4, jog 440
Tues–6-8 x 1 mile, 880 jog
Wed—10x 880 with 440 jog
Thurs–12 x 660, 220 jog
Fri—Rest or 30x 220 in 31-33, jog 110
Sat–Race, Time Trial or fun run

Winter Training was in Hart House on the University of Toronto track. The track had a cork-rubber composition and was similar to that shown above

There was no off season the first few years but I remember a week off in later years. After I had been with the club a couple of years some of us began running some mornings

Indoor training was on the University of Toronto’s Hart House’s track which was 153 yards long and had a cork-rubber composition surface. The runners in the EYTC became experts at indoor racing. The training distances were similar to that outlined above.

We all went to school or worked full time. Running was done in our free time. Coach Foot was a Toronto Police Force Accountant. He was also the coach of the University of Toronto’s Track team. I understand that for that he received about $100.00. The club dues cost each of us $10.00. (In early 1960 my permanent job earned me $50.00 a week. That was a very different era than to-days’)

Now what where the results from all of this Running? (I want to note that I found it all great fun). Bruce Kidd was 16 when I arrived in 1959. I was 7 years older. We ran together most of the time and we grew stronger and faster together. By 1962 Bruce had run a mile in 4:01.4 and 5,000 meters in 13:43.8 setting a United States open record while upsetting reigning Olympic Champion Murray Halberg. At 19, he won the Empire Games 6 mile and was third to Murray Halberg and Ron Clarke at 3 miles. Bruce was ranked second in the world at the 5,000 meters by track and Field News for the year 1962.

Bill Crothers was ranked first in the world at 880/800 in 1963 and 1965 and won a silver medal in the 1964 Olympics.

David Bailey ran a mile in 4:07.7 at 17 and became Canada’s first 4 minute miler in 1966 eventually running 3:57.7 in 1967.

More to come later.


Thanks Orville great stuff, Crothers seemed to deal with the indoor well I remember him on the MSG track for the Millrose and a couple of other meets. I’ll bet training on that indoor track helped him on the 11 laps to the mile MSG track.
I also know I saw Kidd run in at least one Millrose distance race but I dk if he ran a 3 mile or what. I do not remember Kidd doing a lot of NYC meets but we are talking 50 years ago— lots of sawdust has leaked from my ears in that time.

Keep the stuff coming Orville

Millrose Distance Race Winners
1963 2 mile- Kidd 8:41.0
1964 3 mile -Kidd 13:32.4


Part Two
Bruce Kidd, age 18, won the US National cross country championship over John Gutkneck, John Macy, Ireland Sloan and Pater McArdle in Louisville on November 23 1961. Bruce won the US cross country title again in 1963
I believe that in 1962 he won the United States, Canadian and British 3 mile Championships.
On Dec 31, 1962 while still 19, he won the Sugar Bowl 3 mile in 13:37.9 Bill Crothers won the mile in that meet in 4:06.4 over Tom O’Hara who ran 4:06.8.
On Jan 12, 1963 Bruce won the indoor two-mile race in 8:43:2 in the Mass Knights of Columbus meet finishing with a 2:06 and running the 3rd fastest indoor 2 mile to date. Crothers won the 1000 in 2:08.6.
On January 19, 1963 Bruce Kidd won the two mile in 8:43.8 in Los Angeles. Bill won the 1,000 in 2:08.9.
Everyone in the club had watches from our star runners. With all the notoriety, we began to get runners coming to train with us and especially in the summer. 9.3 US sprinter Larry Dunn spent a summer or two with us. Friends of his, Willie Davenport and Art Walker showed up for a few days now and then. College and high school runners from Vancouver, New Brunswick, Chicago and many other places showed up. In Canada a High School runner could run for a club in all months but May and University runners could year round. Bruce, Bill and David plus others all ran for the University of Toronto.
One winter, 2 time 1952 Olympic Gold Medalists George Rhoden was taking post graduate work at the University of Toronto and ran with us. It was beautiful to see him and Bill in a time trial on that indoor track.
Bill Dotson spent a week at the East York Track between meets one summer.
Two months after I left Canada for LA, a Canadian all time Track and field top 20 booklet came out.
–100 yds–6 East York runners,(2 had retired), were listed in the top 26
–3 220 runners were in the top 15, 2 had retired and Bill Crothers was listed at 15th with a 21.9
–440 yards-- Canadian Record–Bill Crothers in 46.2 with 4 other EYTC runners in the top 20
880 yards–Crothers–Canadian record 1:46.3 with 3 others in the top 20
mile-- 2nd Bruce Kidd in 4:01.4 with 4 more in the top 12
2 miles-- Canadian record-- Bruce Kidd in 8:38.1 with 3 more in the top 18
3 miles–Canadian record–Bruce Kidd in 13:17 with 3 more in the top 20
6 miles–Canadian Record-- Bruce Kidd in 27:56.4 with 3 more in the top 14
Marathon–2 EYTC runners in the top 8
110 Hurdles 3 in the top 20
440 yard hurdles–Canadian record George Shepherd–52.2 with John Passmore 4th.
Do not forget that this was a sprint club in 1955
With those runners we had some of the better relay teams on the continent.
This was our hobby and it was fun for us. In addition, we socialized together off the track too.



Thank you leftfielder.
Those articles stress that many of the East York runners in the 1960s went on to even better careers in their chosen professions. Three of the runners I trained with earned Ph.D degrees.
Bruce Kidd had a higher profile because of his age and the incredible times he ran at young ages but Bill Crothers was the better runner. Both were Canada’s outstanding athlete one year and both have been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame.
A few months ago, I got an email from Bill confirming that he trained totally by doing intervals. He usually ran about 35 miles a week with an occassional 40 mile week. He came to the East York Club thinking of himself as a 220/440 runner. Coach Foot had a job convincing him that 880 was his event. Bill ran a training run of 10 miles once at the suggestion of Coach Foot. He never ran that far again. Bill did not like racing as far as a mile.
I believe Bill is currently very involed in the Secondary School named after him and with the North York Board of Education. Bruce is still a professor at the University of Toronto.


ongoing thread on lets run touches on a lot of stuff


Thank you wineturtle.

In 2008, I received an email from the third East York Track Club superstar, David Bailey, Canada’s first miler to run under four minutes. He said that he had been in London, England in April of that year. David said that he had contacted Sir Roger Bannister and asked to meet with him. They met one morning at the Iffley Road Track where Sir Roger had been the first runner to go under 4 minutes. They walked around the track together. David said he had said “Thank you for leading the way”. “Thank you for changing my life”.


An interview with Sir Roger Bannister

An interview with Sir Roger Bannister. David Bailey (left) the first sub four-minute Canadian with Sir Roger Bannister.

John Carson

June 10, 2008

Roger Bannister is a sports icon similar to Edmund Hilary, Gordie Howe or Jesse Owens. In May 1954, Bannister became the person to break the four-minute mile. His accomplishments are the reason we stage the Classic Mile running event every year at Galt Collegiate Institute.
In April of this year I had the privilege to spend time with Sir Roger Bannister. I travelled to Oxford, United Kingdom, with my daughter Lindsay and the first Canadian to break the four-minute mile, Dr. David Bailey. We met casually at the Iffley Road track, where in 1954, Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute mile. more>


What was going on in the World while we were training on the East York Collegiate dirt track? Here is some of what was going on in 1962.
A new house cost $12,550.00, average income was $5,556.00 a year, a new car cost $2,924.00, tuition to Harvard was $152.00 per year, a movie ticket was $1.00, gasoline was 28 cents a gallon, average rent was $110.00 a month and a US postage stamp cost 4 cents.
Granulated sugar was 89 cents for 10 pounds, ground coffee was $.85 cents a pound a pound,. eggs 32 cents a dozen and fresh baked bread 21 cents a loaf.
The favorite television shows were the Beverly Hillbillies, Ben Casey and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Lawrence of Arabia won the Acadamy Award. The other top movies were To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr. No, Lolita, Cape Fear and The Music Man.
Jim Carrey, Demi Moore and Garth Brooks were born
John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. Lyndon Johnson was the Vice President. John Diefenbaker was the Canadian Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II had been Queen since 1952. (I saw Her Royal Highness Princess of York when she visited Canada and drove through Kapuskasing in October 1951.)
Linus Carl Pauling won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The World Series Champions were the New York Yankees. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.
John Glenn became the first US Citizen to orbit the earth.
The first “tab top can” was test-marketed. K-Mart and Wal-Mart opened their fist stores.
Life expectancy was 69.7 years!
Who has more to add?


wow, thats a lot of intervals:eek:


Our training was all intervals. Here is a sample of an indoor week in the University of Toronto 's Hart House on the 153 yard cork-rubber, banked track.
Monday–8x765 yards
Tues–8x918 yards
Wednesday–8x765 Yards
Thursday–20x459 yards
These repetitions were run at 68 to 72 per quarter pace getting faster as the years went by.
Friday–20 x 320 yards at 70 to 67 pace
Saturday–Race, time trial or a run on the roads
On June 2 1961, Bruce Kidd, then still 17 years old, ran an American open record of 13:26.6 for three miles and 13:56.4 for 5 kilometers on a dirt track in Compton, California.


During my walk this morning I thought about your post xcworldchamp. First I thought about the three friends who won the US AAU National Cross Country Championship a total of 5 times among themseves during the mid 1960s. (Bruce Kidd, Dave Ellis and Ron Larrieu).
Then I thought about intervals. Except for a few weeks in the spring and fall, all of the training with the East York was intervals. Most days we started with groups of runners and it was fun but it was nowhere as intense as training with the Los Angeles Track Club under Coach Mihaly Igloi.
With Coach Igloi training was all intervals and we ran much more mileage. All of my training was on grass on the infield of the dirt track or on a 620/640 grass oval that was partly inside the track. Workouts were usually alone and were doled out by the coach in sets so you usually had no idea how much more you would have to run. There were 13 workouts a week.
Examples follow:

Monday May 2, 1966
am 25 laps–every second lap 1 x 220 good speed build-up
pm 10 laps–15 shake ups–12 x 440 good speed with 220 jog, 10 x 660 fresh swing with 220 jog, 12 x 440 good speed with 220 jog, 3 laps between sets, 10 shakeups

Tues 3–am–10 big laps easy–8(3x150 with 50 yd jog), 2 sets good swing, 2 sets good speed, 220 between sets
pm 10 big laps 10 shakeups, 8(4x440 with 220 jog)1 lap jog between sets, 1 set good speed, 1 set fresh swing, 10 shake ups

Wed 4 am 20 laps easy, boy am I tired,
pm 20 laps easy, 20 shake ups

Thurs 5 am 20 laps, 1 easy, 1 fresh
pm 10 laps, 10 shake ups, 20 x 150 fresh speed with 70 yds jog, 2 lap jog, 10 x 880 good swing with 330 jog, 20 shake ups

Fri 6 am 20 big laps, every 5th lap good swing, 10 shake ups
pm 20 big laps, 4x(8x100 yd) 3 sets fresh speed, 1 set good speed build up, 220 between sets, “legs dead”

Sat am 20 big laps, 5 easy then 1 x 150 good speed build up each lap
pm 2 1/2 mile jog, 10 shake ups, 10 x 550 good swing with 330 jog–14 shake ups

And So It Went!



Here is another few days of workouts under Coach Mihaly Igloi. The workouts and all comments were written in my log the day they were run and written.

Thursday February 17, 1966
am 20 laps easy every second one 2 x 150 good speed
pm 10 laps 10 shakeups 10 x 440 hard speed with a 220 jog, 2 lap jog, again 10 x 440 hard speed with a 220 jog, 14 shakeups “You ran well” I have Flu a little

Fri 18 am 30 laps, 2 easy, 1 good swing
pm 10 laps, 10 shakeups, 12 x 1,000 (2 1/2 laps)/ 440 jog, 4 fresh speed, 4 hard swing, 4 fresh speed, 14 shakeups, feet very sore when I got home

Sat 19 am 16 laps, 1 easy, 1 fresh swing–tired
pm 15 laps–20 x 330 fresh speed 110 jog, 14 shakeups, tired

Sun 20 am 10 laps, 10 shakeups, (20 x 150 good speed with 70 yard jog, 2 lap jog, 10 x 260 hard swing with 180 jog, 2 lap jog) x 2–10 shakeups, coach said “Hard day” WOW 60 repeats

Mon 21 am 25 laps, 5 easy then 1x 330 good speed every second lap
pm 10 laps, 10 x 330 fresh speed with 110 jog, 10 x 880 hard swing with 440 jog, 10 x 330 fresh speed with 110 jog, 2 laps between sets, 10 shakeups

Tues 22 am 20 laps every 3rd one 2 x 150 good speed build-up
pm 10 laps, 10 shakeups 9 x 660/330 jog, 3 good speed, 3 hard swing, 3 good speed–(10 x 100 good speed)x4 with 220 jog between sets


If your friends register for all they have to do is contact Crystazul-sticky under patti’s thread- he’ll set them up for LL. The elite and college threads are pretty respectful and would welcome more voices that, like yours, carry a passion for the history of our sport.


wineturtle, I thought from the message they were already registered and I would have a nice list of people to add to the LL. :stuck_out_tongue:

I see that is not the case, but I’ll be happy to add them when the do register. Always good to grow the community!


In an offboard conversation Orville mentioned some friends were looking for a haven from the clutter of other runners boards.

Responding to your question about me doing that- all I can say is pick your favorite adynaton , repeat often…


Bruce Kidd article

[*]By: Marlo Campbell[/LIST]Former Olympian-turned university professor Bruce Kidd

A former Canadian Olympian thinks gender testing in sport should be abolished and wants Canada to publicly declare its opposition to the practice before the start of the 2012 Summer Games, now less than six months away.

full story in link


Orville hope this post finds you well. If it turns out to be AFib it can be controled very well and few restrictions.

found this group of BritishPathe stuff-- still sorting through it. Saw Kidd and had to post it here.


Your post reminded me that British Pathe has this film from the 1908 Olympics. Early on you’ll see that tug of war was an Olympic Sport in that era. You’ll also see some of the era’s lovelies competing in archery (still an Olympic sport - actress Geena Davis tried to make the US team a few years back). But what’s likely most important to us is the marathon footage - this was the race that wound up eventually changing the distance of the marathon from “about 25 miles” to 26.2 miles. You’ll see the start, Dorando Pietri passing, Hayes passing, and the Pietri staggering around the track. Here’s the link (and the marathon comes about 3/4 through):


A Documentary called “Runner”

In 1962 The National Film Board of Canada produced a ten minute 44 second documentary about Bruce Kidd. It shows The East York Track Club Runners and Bruce training and finishes with part of a two mile race among Bruce Kidd, Laszlo Tabori, Max Truex, Ron Wallingford, Hylke Van der Wal and one other runner. That DVD is still available from the National Film Board of Canada.
The film was awarded honourable Mention in the Film as Art Category of the Golden Gate Award Competition of the International Film Festival in San Francisco and the Donald Peury Award in the Midwest Film Festival, University of Chicago, both in 1963.
This documentary was directed by Don Owen, written by Don OWen and W.H. Auden and produced by Tom Daly. IT IS STILL AVAILABLE.
The National Film Board Of Canada may be reached by calling 1 800 542-2164 in the US, 1 800 267-7710 in Canada and (514) 283-9450 Internationally . Their web site is