Cooks Gardens, the classic Mile venue
63 men, from 41 different athletes from 9 different countries, have recorded sub-4 minute Mile times here including legend Peter Snell's 1962 world record and Jürgen May's fastest Mile on a grass track in 1965
From Wanganui Chronicle
Few provincial towns in the world of Wanganui's size can boast a more impressive set of ground track & field records than Cooks Gardens.
And those records may well be added to at the annual Cooks Classic on Tuesday evening.
The impressive existing list features athletes from six countries, including Olympic champions and medal winners. The all-time list is even more impressive highlighting the importance of the famous ground for the sport.
This depth of performance is most clearly evident over the classic Mile, which along with its metric equivalent the 1500 meters, has a special part in athletic history and in New Zealand no venue has seen more sub 4 minute performances. The 63 recorded in Wanganui have come from 41 different athletes from 9 different countries.
Cooks Classic organizer Alec McNab said the first Mile championship was won by Sam Pentecost of Canterbury in 1898 with the first overseas winner Jas Power of the USA in 1914.
"The first time that the Mile was run in less than 4 minutes on New Zealand soil was Peter Snell's famous world record of 3:54.4 in 1962," McNab said.
Continue reading at: nzherald.co.nz