When Running Became Life

Southern California's 1960s Long-Distance Subculture

Before distance running entered the mainstream culture in the 1970s, before marathons and road races attracted thousands of runners, before Nike and Reebok, there was a distance running subculture in Southern California.

You wouldn’t have known it existed from the Los Angeles Times or local television and radio. But a vibrant distance running community emerged in the 1960s. This community was linked by a network of all-comers races, weekly road races and newly established marathons. Most importantly, new attitudes were emerging among these runners: about long distance running as a lifestyle, …