Source: The Mercury, 15 January, 1997, p.60


Metrics can't
mangle the
magical mile

THE bold display of running by
Damon Court and others in a
1500m inter-club race at Friends
Oval last weekend has prompted
thoughts of a Tasmanian one day
breaking the once magical four-
minute-mile barrier.

   The great Kiwi John Walker did it
in 1983 but no local runner has
come close, except Commonwealth
Games finalist Randal Markey who
ran 4.00.9 in 1974.

   The Bill Barwick Mile, which is
the Tasmanian championship, on
March 8 is the only opportunity
and, back on the newly resurfaced
Domain track, anything is
possible. (The imperial mile is now
measured as 1609.34m.)

   The previous two winners of the
race, John White and Leighton
Kearney, were well outside the four-
minute mark.

   But if local middle-distance
runners get together with a hot
early pace it is possible.

   Court ran a smart 3.56 for 1500m
at Friends and placegetters Michael
Chettle and Dean Giblin also did
well after a fast pace set by Farouk
Amouche.

   All three are best known at
longer distances and Court can
clearly run a bit faster on the
Domain track.

   Kearney White and Dylan Forbes
have been showing good form and,
like Amouche, are capable of getting
close to the I magical mark.

   But if it happens, Brendan
Hanigan may be the man.

   Hanigan is nearly ready to
resume his career after missing the
Olympics with chronic achilles
tendon injuries.

   He will not be in top shape just
yet but with a couple of months'
work he is clearly good enough to
break four minutes. Hanigan twice
won the Olympic Dream 1500m in
Melbourne in comparable time to a
four-minute mile.


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