Spence’s sub-5:00 mile streak noted in Runner’s World magazine

Shippensburg University cross country head coach Steve Spence ‘85 was recently mentioned in Runner’s World magazine for his streak of running sub-5:00 minute miles for over 40 years.

Starting when he was just 14 years old, Spence has run a mile in under five minutes for 43 consecutive years. The most recent came at the Shippensburg University track on January 12, 2018. It is believed this is the longest-running streak of its kind, according to Runner’s World. Spence, contending with injuries so far in 2019, hopes to reach 44.

The Ship coach of over 20 years is a former Olympic marathoner and World Championships marathon bronze medalist. He is also an 18-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Coach of the Year and serves as an assistant coach with Ship’s track and field teams.

Ship’s track program has seen nearly 100 All-Americans during Spence’s tenure. There have been 18 All-Americans in cross country in that time as well.

Among the many impressive distance runners Spence has mentored, one of them is his own daughter, Neely Spence ‘12, a four-time national champion in the 5K and two-time national cross country champion.

Spence’s feat was mentioned in Runner’s World Issue 3 of 2019 on page 56, just beside a blurb about Olympic great Carl Lewis.