Mile News

How I Broke the Indoor Mile Record: An Interview with a “Freak”

February 21, 2014

Coghlan owned the indoor wood in the glory days of that element, ergo his lifetime appointment as "Chairman of the Boards."

By Sarah Barker,

Eamonn Coghlan is not too sensitive about the fact that today's twentysomethings were infants when he ran a Mile in 3 minutes, 49 seconds and 78 hundredths on a 10-lap track—which is to say, a world record—and he doesn't mind that they don't know who he is or what he's done. That's OK. He's pretty diplomatic, now—a work-related hazard of his gig as an Irish senator.

Coghlan, 61 and trim, was one of a string of Irish middle-distance rockets who came out of Villanova (1976). Post-collegiately, he hit the then-vigorous circuit of U.S. track races, tearing around skate park-like banked affairs that, in the 1970s and '80s, were built of plywood.

Here's something you should know about tracks: The smaller the track, the slower the times, because turns slow a runner's pace. A 10-lap-to-a-Mile track will cost an elite runner six or seven seconds over an eight-lap oval, the standard indoor size now. Four-lap-to-a-Mile outdoor tracks are faster still, so outdoor records are nearly always faster than those set on an indoor track.

Here's something you should know about Coghlan: He's a freak. His indoor times, some run on a dizzying 11-lap bathtub, are faster than his outdoor times. He owned the indoor wood in the glory days of that element, ergo his lifetime appointment as "Chairman of the Boards."

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Tags: world record (78) , eamonn coghlan (30)

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