British super-vet Whiteman re-writing the record books | 05.06.2012
Great Britain's Tony Whiteman defied Father Time when he has become the first man aged over 40 to run a sub-four-minute mile outdoors on Saturday.
The former British international middle-distance runner, who in now based in the north east England town of Cleethorpes where he works as a personal trainer, smashed the iconic barrier on the other side of the Atlantic with a superb 3.58.79 in Nashville, the third fastest time by a European outdoors in 2012.
"I'm really happy to go sub-four, but even happier to have won the race against good American milers. I ran very even splits of around 59 seconds per lap," said Whiteman after his feat.
Russia's Vyacheslav Shabunin had held the previous world outdoor veteran's mile record with 4.01.62, set in 2010, although Ireland's 1978 European Athletics Championships 1500m silver medallist Eamonn Coghlan clocked 3.58.13 on an indoor track in 1994.
Whiteman, who turned 40 last November, has been targeting the accolade he achieved at the weekend since taking up the sport seriously again around two years ago.
At his peak in the 1990s, he clocked 3.51.90 for the mile and 3.32.34 for 1500m.
He won the 1997 World University Games 1500m title and competed in the 1998 and 2002 European Athletics Championships, just missing out on a 1500m medal when finishing fourth at the latter edition.
Whiteman also won the 1996 European Athletics Indoor Championships 1500m silver medal.
Already this year he has run a world veteran's indoor 1500m record of 3.44.12 and last month he clocked 1.48.28 over two laps of the track for an 800m world veteran's record.
His next target is to run under 3:40 for the 1500m.
In an article published by the British athletics magazine Athletics Weekly on Saturday before the race, which can be read here, Whiteman talks about his path to become becoming a super-vet runner and the embodiment of the European Athletics mission statement Your Sport For Life.