Nikki Hiltz, Sam Prakel In Line For The First Road Mile World Records

By Kyle Merber

September 13, 2023

Not all world records are created equal, but don’t tell the bottom of my CV that.

Did the entire field in New York, including Nikki Hiltz and Sam Prakel, run significantly faster than 4:27.97 and 4:01.21? Yes, but 5th Ave’s point course and roughly 30 feet of elevation loss make it about as ineligible as me at my boy’s bachelor party.

In order to officially count, the distance between the start and finish needs to be within a half mile of each other, and the pavement can’t drop more than about five feet. This puts the horseshoe flat course of the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in Des Moines in distinguished company. With the inclusion of the mile in the inaugural World Road Running Championships in Riga, the event was only just added to the officially recognized list of world records rather than the ambiguous purgatory-like label of “world best.”

So now the real question is what’s the fastest illegal mile ever run? That honor belongs to the 3:28.36 time posted by Kenya’s Mike Boit in 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand, at what is known as the Queen Street Mile.

This got me thinking about who today would have the best shot at breaking this “record.” Boit was an Olympic bronze medalist at the 800 with PBs of 1:43/3:33/3:49. To run back-to-back 1:43s you need to be crazy quick, no matter how high of a cliff you are falling from. My first round draft pick: Marco Arop’s quads.

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Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.