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Leer holds off Willis in Mile

Will Leer and Nick Willis with Brendon Bethke

Will Leer and Nick Willis with Brendon Bethke

Cooks Classic, Cooks Gardens – 27 January 2012
Nick Willis had to bow to the strong front running tactics of American training companion Will Leer in the anniversary mile on Friday evening. Willis came from behind over the final 300m to finish second in 3m 58.81s, Leer winning in 3m 58.45s.

The anniversary mile celebrated Sir Peter Snell’s world mile record run at Cooks Gardens 50 years ago to the day when on a grass track he reduced the record to 3m 54.4s.

Willis said that he was happy with his first race of the season.

“It felt pretty good; it was a case of first race jitters, afraid of tying up too much. I didn’t win but still very happy with the first race effort,” he said.

The New Zealand 1500m record holder said the Peter Snell would have felt a lot better in his race in 1962. “He was powering along on the last lap, I was just hanging in there to the end. It was great to be able to commemorate such a fantastic effort 50 years ago.”

Hamish Carson of Wellington third in 3m 59.11s and Canterbury’s Malcolm Hicks fifth in 3m 59.87s both joined the exclusive sub-four minute mile club. Carson is the thirty fifth Kiwi to join and Hicks number 36 with his effort. Carson said it was a relief to finally crack the barrier. “I’ve finally got a sub-four. I just wanted to beat Nick down the home straight but he still passed me, at least I got the sub-four,” said Carson.Hicks was equally delighted to enter the record books. “I was pumped to just squeeze under,” he said. Lee Emanuel of Britain was fourth in 3m 59.69s.

Ben Moynahan led in fellow Aucklander John Schreuder in the junior mile in 4m 20.64s while Camille Buscomb of Hamilton won the women’s mile in 4m 53.93s.

Billy Crayford of North Harbour cleared 2.09m in the high jump while Elizabeth Lamb of Waitakere was over the bar at 1.83m.


  1. […] Leer holds off Willis in Mile is a post from: Time-to-Run New Zealand […]

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