Athlepedia, The Athletics Wiki
Athlepedia, The Athletics Wiki

Steve "Pre" Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) was an American long distance runner, born in Coos Bay, Oregon[1] , who once held the American record in every event over a mile: 2000m, 3000m, 2-mile, 3-mile, 10000m, and 6-mile[2]. He is considered to be among the greatest and most inspirational runners ever to have lived. All of his fans were known as “Pre’s People”, and would chant, “Pre! Pre! Pre!” over and over at competitions[3]. Prefontaine had one leg longer than the other. He is also known for his extremely aggressive "front-running" racing style and for always believing in giving everything he had to win. Prefontaine's life was brought to a tragic end from a car crash at the age of 24. His three-mile and six-mile records are still standing today.[4]. In 2000, Pre was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Video Highlight

Pre's final 200 meters at the 1971 AAU championships 3-mile. <videoflash>N1ZnV56e8JI</videoflash>

Personal Records

Distance Time Date Location
1,500 meters 3:38 28 June 1973 Helsinki, Finland [5]
2,000 meters 5:01.4 9 May, 1975 Coos Bay, Oregon
3,000 meters 7:42.6 2 July, 1974 Milan, Italy
5,000 meters 13:21.87 26 June, 1974 Helsinki, Finland
10,000 meters 27:43.6 27 April, 1974 Eugene, Oregon
1 mile 3:54.6 20 June, 1973 Eugene, Oregon
2 miles 8:18.29 18 July, 1974
3 miles 12:51.4 8 June, 1974 Eugene, Oregon
6 miles 26:51.8 27 April, 1974
5000 meters (H.S.) 13:52.8 1969

Films about Steve Prefontaine

  • Without Limits (1998), played by Billy Crudup
  • Prefontaine (1997), played by Jared Leto
  • Fire on the Track (documentary)

Books about Steve Prefontaine

  • Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, by Tom Jordan (1997)

See Also

  • William J. Bowerman
  • Frank Shorter

External Links


  1. unknown (n.d.). Steve Prefontaine. Retrieved on 2008-05-17.
  2. Steve Who. Retrieved on 2008-03-03.
  3. Adam from Fredericksburg. The My Hero Project-Steve Prefontaine. Retrieved on 2008-03-03.
  4. Steve Prefontaine. Retrieved on 2008-03-03.
  5. Steve Prefontaine Bio & Pix. University of Oregon, Official Athletic Site. Retrieved on 2008-03-08.