Few track nuts were athletes themselves. They do not collect autographs, and they rarely seek to cultivate track coaches. They are simply content to watch individual efforts, as opposed to pro football fans who like their action in bunches or baseball fans who like team play and team strategies or prizefight followers who like bloody combat with one of the parties preferably bowed.
Nor do they all run themselves, but many, such as Jim Dunaway, do. His vocation is writing commercials for one of New York's largest advertising agencies. But in between snappy sentences he has learned everything about track and field events worth knowing. He writes and he runs. When he is in New York he works out at the West Side branch of the YMCA or in Central Park, from where he has been known to run down Fifth Avenue in his sweat clothes, en route to his home on East 51st Street.
Dunaway is a contributing editor of Track & Field News, making his knowledgeable stories available without benefit of honoraria. At certain meets he serves as compiler of summaries for The New York Times, a service for which he is paid. In 1956, working for an advertising agency in Chicago, he took a year's leave of absence and attended the Olympics in Melbourne. To help defray his expenses he set up a one-man news bureau and covered athletes who were not otherwise being closely observed by representatives of their home-town papers. After Melbourne, he continued on around the world, hitching rides on oil tankers.
Dunaway was also in Rome and in Tokyo. This year he planned his vacation carefully, and when the schedule was ready he took his wife, Joanne, into his confidence. They would fly to San Francisco, take in the NCAA at Berkeley, then dash by rented car to Sacramento for the Golden West Invitational three hours later, and finally double back to San Diego for the National AAU. Everything went according to plan, except that Joanne asked to be excused from the Golden West at Sacramento on the ground that she felt a little tired.
Dunaway didn't feel tired at all. He worked out every day at Berkeley, and in San Diego he ran three miles on the grass with Peter Snell. Snell won. Jim was also kept busy doing his summaries for The New York Times and working on his copy for Track & Field News. Even so, he found time to take Joanne out to dinner once in a while, and in one restaurant he entertained the guests by demonstrating the proper way to throw a javelin.
Joanne Dunaway, whose consuming interest was formerly the theater, now professes to be fascinated by her husband's hobby—and she can never say that she wasn't warned. On the night they became engaged Jim handed her two little boxes. Inside one was an engagement ring—standard equipment. Inside the other was a stopwatch.