North Dakota Runner
High School: Minot Ryan
College: Competed at NDSU, BS Economics and Business Administration MBA @NDSU; MS Finance @ the University of Oregon; Doctorate In Bus Administration from Southern Illinois University.
1600 4:17 Class B Record
3200 9:25 Class B Record
1500 3:47.5 NDSU record holder indoors
3000 Steeplechase 8:48 NDSU Record Holder
5 miles 25:25
1/2 Marathon 71:30
North Dakota Class A state champion one-mile run 1974 and 1975 (4:18.6 tied the state mile record).
Two time NCAA D II National champion 3000 meter steeplechase, 1979 and 1980. Both wins were national records at the time (8:51 and 8:48)
First NDSU National Champion in Track and Field
NCC Steeplechase Record Holder
1998 NDSU Hall of Fame Inductee
Current Running Activities
I've gone from two-a-days in my youth to my current efforts of once-every-two-days.
Memorable running event:
Probably the most vivid racing memory I have was my first national championship victory. I was running the steeplechase because I had plantar facsitis and could not run the speed workouts nessecary to be successful at nationals in my favorite race, the 1500 m. But I had a good distance base and figured that I could run a decent steeplechase without too much speedwork.
About three laps into the race I was running in 7th place, well off the lead pack, when I saw one runner start to fade. I thought "If I catch this guy, I can finish in 6th place and be an All-American". I caught him in one lap, caught the lead pack in one more, and went around everyone with two laps remaining. One runner went with me and trailed right behind until about 200 m to go. He sped around me sprinting for the water jump. It was difficult to hold back, but I forced myself not to chase him, as I didn't want to mess up my steps to the water jump and the final jump beyond. He opened at least a five-meter lead by the time I went over the last barrier about 80 meters from the finish. With no more barriers in front of us, all we could do is spring for the finish. I guess some of my 1500 meter training paid off as I caught and passed him to win by 2.7 seconds and established a new NCAA II and NDSU school record of 8:51.3. I won nationals again the next year. The feeling of satisfaction was just as great, but the thrill of winning the first time couldn't be matched. I'm sure that I'll never forget that race.
Favorite place to run
In my dreams!
My favorite workout was a speed workout we used to do late in the season. We would run a 3 to 5 mile warm-up, stretch, put on our spikes and then run four 60-second 400's (not 59 seconds, and certainly not 61 seconds!) with a 90 second rest in between. From start to finish, the entire track workout would only take eight and one-half minutes.
Why did you start running?
I was a hurdler in jr. high becuase my brother was a hurdler and I tried to do everything that he did! But in 9th grade, when competing in the President's Fitness program, I was the fastest 600 yard runner in my class. The PE teacher, who was also my track coach, told me that I was running the 880 at the next track meet. Well, after I won that race the HS track coach told me that if I ran a 2:10 880 yard run, I could run in the conference meet. So I managed to do that and just kept on running.
Other Activities or workouts besides running
Today I spend more time playing basketball, golf, walking and several other occasional activities along with the regular 4-mile run...but no more serious training.
I believe that the bio of any successful individual wouldn't be complete without the acknowledgement of those most influential in his life. For me, the two most important people for my running career were my brother, Doug Bacon, and NDSU teammate Mike Bollmann. Unfortunately, neither is still with us. Doug taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Often that meant making sacrifices and establishing priorities. Mike taught me the meaning of "mental toughness". There is no way that I would be listed on this page if Mike hadn't driven me to run that extra mile, to spend the extra hours in the weight room, and to know that I could win every race that I ran.
Doug was a record-setting hurdler in high school running 14.6 in the 120 yd high hurdles, but he chose not to run in college. Mike was elected to the NDSU Hall of Fame two years before me. He was a national champion in cross country and an All-American 3:42 1500 meter runner.
Finally, I'd like to thank all the great guys I ran with in college..."Miler", "Edgar", "Young Jed", and of course, "Rookie". They're the reason I loved competing and they're the guys I miss today!
Dr. Curt Bacon is the Chair of the School of Business at Southern Oregon University. He is married with two children.