Mile News

Nick Willis runs record sub-4 Mile for 19th straight year

January 19, 2021

Two-time Olympic medalist breaks tie with Olympic champion and fellow Kiwi legend Sir John Walker

By Jonathan Gault,

Evergreen Nick Willis made history on Tuesday night by breaking 4:00 in the Mile for the record 19th year in a row. Willis, 37, ran 3:58.63 to finish second behind Mason Ferlic (3:58.05) at the Orange Winter Classic #1 meet in Clermont, Fla., breaking a tie with fellow New Zealand legend John Walker, who went sub-4 for 18 years in a row from 1973-90.

Willis broke 4:00 for the first time on February 8, 2003, at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind., when he was 19-years-old, and has broken 4:00 every year since, with a personal record of 3:49.83 at age 31 in 2014. He has also earned two Olympic 1500m medals during that span — a silver in 2008 in Beijing, and a bronze in 2016 in Rio.

Post-race on Instagram, he thanked his longtime coach Ron Warhurst and his wife Sierra for their support, and added: “Thanks everyone for your support over the years. I'm truly humbled by the support this random streak / record has brought.”

Below, courtesy of messageboard poster “Mark” is Willis’ fastest track Mile every year since his streak began in 2003. It’s also worth noting that Willis came close to starting his streak two years earlier, as he ran 4:01.32 as a 17-year-old in 2001 and 4:02.46 in 2002.

Time / Place / Location / Meet / Date
3:58.15i 4 Notre Dame, IN Meyo Invitational 08-Feb-2003
3:53.51 2 Eugene, OR Bowerman Mile 19-Jun-2004
3:53.43 11 Oslo, NOR Bislett Games 29-Jul-2005
3:52.75 1 Wanganui, NZL Mayoral Mile 11-Feb-2006
3:55.09 4 New York, NY Reebok Grand Prix 02-Jun-2007
3:50.66 2 Eugene, OR Bowerman Mile 08-Jun-2008
3:53.54i 1 Boston, MA Reebok Indoor Games 07-Feb-2009
3:55.26i 1 Boston, MA Reebok Indoor Games 06-Feb-2010
3:51.95 10 Eugene, OR Bowerman Mile 04-Jun-2011
3:51.77 7 Eugene, OR Bowerman Mile 02-Jun-2012
3:55.70 1 Des Moines, IA Drake Relays 27-Apr-2013
3:49.83 2 Oslo, NOR Bislett Games 11-Jun-2014
3:51.46i 2 New York, NY Wanamaker Mile 14-Feb-2015
3:51.06i 2 New York, NY Wanamaker Mile 20-Feb-2016
3:56.41 2 Huntington, NY Long Island Mile 06-Sep-2017
3:56.77 5 Birmingham, GBR Emsley Carr Mile 18-Aug-2018
3:54.80i 6 New York, NY Wanamaker Mile 9-Feb-2019
3:59.89i 2 Boston, MA New Balance Grand Prix 25-Jan-2020
3:58.63 2 Clermont, FL Orange Winter Classic #1 19-Jan-2021
i = indoors

Continue reading at: (includes more sub-4 breakdown lists for Willis)

PHOTO: Tracksmith

Tags: sub-4 (19) , nick willis (109) , john walker (33)

Facebook Comments

Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!