Gary Taylor (2012)
London, UK and University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Taylor grew up in London, UK and had early success with running. In 1978, at age 15, he started to win county (US equivalent of state) championships in both cross country and track. At age 16 Taylor broke Jim Ryun's 1500m world record for 16 year-olds, 3:45.62. At 17 he represented Great Britain for the first time at a Great Britain vs. East Germany indoor meet. At 18 he ran 3:40.72 for 1500M, the equivalent of a sub- 4 minute mile. During these years he won several national titles at 800m, 1500m, and 3000m, and also made the national cross country team.
In 1982, at age 19, Taylor came to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. While there, he was a 2-time All America recipient, was 3rd in the NCAA mile, and won multiple conference titles in the 1000 yd mile, and 1500m. Excelled at the Penn Relays where he was part of several winning relays, helped set a world record in the Distance Medley, and ran the top two fastest 1500m splits in the history of the Penn Relays, times that still stand today. Despite these accomplishments, Taylor says that his proudest honor was being selected Captain of the Cross Country team for 2 years, in one of which Arkansas won the NCAA championships.
After college, Taylor trained for the Olympic trials in 1988. He reached the finals, finished 5th, but then decided to end his serious running career. His personal bests were 3:38.8 for 1500m, 3:56.1 for the Mile, and 1:48.6 for the 800m. Taylor has always made running his life, and since the '88 trials, has run in eight marathons, many road races, triathlons, and an Ironman.
To give back to the community of running, Taylor has also opened a running shop in Little Rock, named Go! Running, that is dedicated to helping the running community in central Arkansas.