Arturo Barrios
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Arturo Barrios

Arturo Barrios

Going the Distance
by Lizzie Wann

Known as one of the best distance runners of our time, Arturo Barrios has proven himself on both the track and the road. A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Barrios rose to fame in the early '80s setting his first world record in 1986 in the 10,000m road race. 1987 saw Barrios set the world record for the four mile road race.

Barrios competed in his first Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea (1988) where he competed in the 10,000m and 5,000m races. He placed fifth in the 10,000m but was eliminated in the heats for the 5,000m.

One of Barrios' greatest achievements came in 1989 when he broke the world record for the 10,000m track race by over five seconds with a time of 27:08:32.

Barrios continued his remarkable running in 1991 when he set a new world record in the 20,000m on a track at 56:55:06. During that race, Barrios also became the first man to run a half marathon in less than an hour. The following year, Barrios returned to the Olympics in Barcelona to compete in the 10,000m and placed fifth.

The Mexican National record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Barrios is still active in the running community. His name graces the Arturo Barrios 5K and 10K held in Chula Vista, California. A special highlight of the event is the Fiesta Kids Run where kids 8-12 years old take on the mile while kids 4-7 can run the 1/2 mile. All proceeds benefit the South Chula Vista Library and monies earned have helped the library add a young adults wing named after Barrios.

Barrios was inducted into the Road Runner Sports Run of Fame on October 13, 2000.

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