Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Great running beards

Lots to talk about from last week's World Championships in Moscow, but global athletics style spotters can't help but comment on the ongoing bearded runner revival.

Or course Mo Farah's been sporting a beard for ages.

But it was down to the GB men's 400m relay team to really fly the facial hair flag  - or the South London team as I like to call them as Conrad Williams is from Lewisham and Martyn Rooney from Thornton Heath.

Williams (right) and Michael Bingham (left below) both sported some finely crafted minimalist beards.

But it was down to their team mate Martyn Rooney to introduce the full on beard into the championships, until recently confined in London to post-folkies and Shoreditch hipster types.

Rooney in Moscow - image grabbed from Flotrack

So how do they compare to the great 1970s and 1980s running beards? David Bedford is of course a legend, even if now when people see this photo they probably think it's got something to do with 118 118.

Then there was Finnish long distance champion Lasse Viren.

 But sorry Martyn, Conrad and all, if you really want to be the coolest beard of all time in athletics you're up against Ed Moses (1976 & 1984 Olympic Gold Medallist in the 400m hurdles). It's not just what you do (or don't do) with your razor - you've got to be able to carry off the glasses and the necklaces too.


  1. The 1976 Olympics had some classic running beards - Viren, Hildenbrand and Simoes of Portugal (with a bushy tramp-like beard) in the 5000m, Van Damme and Wellman the two minor medallists in the 1500m, and did young Steve Ovett still have a beard then?

    In the 1972 Olympics, Viren had a beard with no moustache: I still can't decide if these are cool or disturbing.

  2. Some good suggestions there, you're right Ovett did have a beard at one point. I draw the line at the beard without moustache, that's just wrong.