|Competitor for United States|
|Gold||1936 Berlin||110 m hurdles|
Robert Forrest "Spec" Towns (February 6, 1914 - April 4, 1991) was an American track and field athlete. He was the 1936 Olympic champion in the 110 m hurdles, and broke the World Record in that distance three times.
Born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, Towns went to school in Augusta, Georgia, where he played football in high school. In 1933, he gained a track scholarship for the University of Georgia (UGA) after a track journalist had seen him high jumping in his back yard.
However, rather than high jumping, Towns specialized in the high hurdles, winning NCAA and AAU titles in the 120 y hurdles event in 1935. It was the beginning of a 60 race winning streak, lasting until 1937.
In 1936, Towns was named on the American Olympic team, becoming the first Georgian to achieve this. At the time of the Olympics, Towns was the world record holder with 14.1, and he won the Olympic gold in 14.2. Shortly after the Games, he became the first hurdler to beat 14 seconds. At a race in Oslo, he dramatically improved the world record to 13.7 - a time that would stand until 1950.
After his retirement, Towns became a track and field coach at UGA, a position he held unil 1975. He died in his hometown Athens, Georgia at age 77. He is remembered at UGA with the Spec Towns Track, and the annually held Spec Towns invitational.