Dave Dowdle born 07.11.1954 is an ultraruner who, in 1982 set a new world 24 hour record of 170 miles 974 yards (274.480 kms).
From an article by Phillip Howells On 10.00am on Saturday 2nd May 1982 a remarkable 24 hour track race destined to change the history of long distance running was started on the Blackbridge Athletics Track in Podsmead, Gloucester. Organised by Chris O’Carroll on behalf of the local Gloucester Athletic Club, he was rewarded with a number of record performances including a stunning new World Record for 24 hours of 170 miles 974 yards (274.480 kms) set by club member Dave Dowdle. The field that day consisted of 19 international entrants including two women, with fancied runners from France (and the existing World Record holder), Australia, and the USA joining British favourites Mark Pickard, the then reigning British 24 Hour record holder and a very strong local contingent of Dowdle, O’Carroll himself and Martin Daykin. All sixteen runners still on the track after 24 hours covered over 100 miles, with Pickard 2nd at over157 miles and O’Carroll 3rd at over 140 miles. Two women also beat the previous world best distance with British woman Lyn Fitzgerald finishing in 5th place to establish a new Women’s World Record of 133 miles 939 yards (214.902 kms) – another outstanding achievement in the days when women running long distance was still not accepted by many and indeed they were laughed at by some of the men as they lined up at the start; but they were soon to be laughing out of the other side of their faces!