“Electrifying” – Alan Webb’s Top 5

2017 Runner’s Tribe, all rights reserved

“When all is said and done, people will consider him the greatest distance runner America has ever had.” – Steve Scott

– Country: United States
– Born: January 13, 1983

Personal Bests

  • 800m: 1:43.84
  • 1500m: 3:30.54
  • Mile: 3:46.91
  • 3000m: 7:39.29
  • 5000m: 13:10.86
  • 10,000m: 27:34.72

Career Highlights

  • American Mile record holder: 3:46.91
  • American High School Mile record holder: 3:53.43
  • 2004 Olympian
  • 1st at 2004 American Olympic trials 1500m
  • 9th at 2005 World Championships 1500m
  • Winner Prefontaine Classic Mile 2004: 3:50.83
  • Winner 2007 Paris Golden League 1500m: 3:30.54
  • Winner 2007 Heusden, Knight of Athletics 2007 800m: 1:43.84

Number 5: 2004 Mile Prefontaine Classic 3:50.83

“This is Hicham El Guerrouj type stuff” – Race TV Commentator

2004, Webb had struggled through a few rough years, including an appendicitis surgery. American track fans were waiting for America’s great hope to live up to his potential. He showed signs of this pure talent at the Prefontaine Classic on June 19, 2004. Webb, with the race set-up for him, managed to break Jim Ryun’s American soil record (fastest mile by an American on American soil). Alan Webb was back.


Number 4: 2007 800m Heusden, Belgium 1:43.84

July 28, 2007. A confident Webb on a high following his American Mile record set just 3 weeks earlier, took on a field stacked with 800m specialists. Webb went out hard, held on, and outkicked Canada’s Gary Reid to clock his lifetime personal best.

Number 3: 2007 1500m Paris Gaz de France 3:30.54

2007 was a hot year for Webb. July 6 in Paris marked a showdown between Webb and French national star Mehdi Baala. In what ended up to the biggest win of Webb’s career, he hung onto the heals of Baala and dug deep over the final 100m to just outkick the local crowd favourite.

Number 2: 2001 American High School Mile Record 3:53.43

In 2001 Webb was named Track and Field News “High School Athlete of the Year”. The decision was a no brainer. May 27, 2001 at Eugene’s Prefontaine Classic, racing against his idol, Hicham El Guerrouj, Webb clocked 3:53.43 to shatter Jim Ryun’s 36-year-old national high school record of 3:55.3. Webb passed the 1500 mark in 3:38.26 to also break Ryun’s 37-year-old high school American record of 3:39.0, set in 1964. This race catapulted Webb to superstar status.

Number 1: 2007 American Mile Record 3:46.91

“I’m on top of the world, baby!” – Alan Webb post 3:46.91

July 7, 1982; the date Steve Scott set his American Mile record of 3:47.69. The time stood for 25 years until a low-key meet in Brasschaat, Belgium. Paced by Australian Olympian, Youcef Abdi, Webb ran a perfectly paced race, to lower the record to 3:46.91. A record that still stands as of February 6, 2017. This has to be Webb’s greatest race.


  1. I think a better case for greatest American distance runner of all time can be made for either Bernard Lagat or if you prefer American born, then Galen Rupp would be my choice. Alan Webb has some fast times but no World Championships or Olympic medals. A bit of a disappointment on the world stage.

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