Michael Ferguson is happy to have broken the Aberdeen one-mile track record but now has his sights on becoming the first north-east runner to crack the magical four-minute barrier.
The Scotland international recorded 4:05.41 in the Stirling Monument Mile to get the better of the previous Aberdeen best of 4:07.60, which Bill Ewing achieved on a cinder track at Pitreavie in 1966.
Ferguson said: “It worked out well and my time was around what I thought I was capable of doing.
“I finished strongly as I was eighth or ninth with 200m to go but was able to pick off quite a few coming off the final bend.Maybe I should have kicked on a bit earlier but it’s easy to say that with hindsight.
“I’m pleased to get the Aberdeen record but I have a lot of respect for Bill’s time as he did it on cinders.
“I’m not sure what sort of conversion rate could be applied but I reckon it would be as much as five seconds.”
Mile races are few and far between nowadays with Scotland converting to metric distances 50 years ago.
But for most middle-distance athletes the allure of cracking the four-minute barrier, first achieved by Sir Roger Bannister in 1954, remains high on the agenda.
A sub-four-minute-mile equates to 3:42.21 for 1,500m and Ferguson, who is Scottish champion at the metric distance, currently has a best time of 3:45.27. The Aberdeen record of 3:44.67 was set by Alan Wales in 2006.
Ferguson said: “Now that I’ve got the Aberdeen mile record I want to move on to the next target. So, next year I’d like to aim for sub-four or at least get closer to it. If I can stay fit and healthy over the winter I don’t see why that’s not attainable.
“Obviously there are more 1,500m races available, so I’d hope to be faster in these as well.”
The Monument Mile meeting featured 24 separate races culminating in the men’s elite event which attracted competitors from throughout the UK.
Ferguson finished fifth while Reading’s Joanthan Davies won 3:59.36, with Ian Crowe-Wright (Brighton and Hove) second in 3:59.61 while Mark Pearce (Shaftesbury Barnet) took third spot in 4:02.85.
It was the first sub- four-minute-mile run in Scotland since Kenya’s Gideon Gathimba clocked 3:57.96 to pip his compatriot Bethwell Birgen, 3:58.01, at the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village in 2009.
There were some fine performances in the younger age group races from Aberdeen AAC’s talented up-and-coming crop of teenagers.
Fast-finishing Aberdeen duo Lewis Watt (4:28.79) and Sam Griffin (4:28.87) just failed to catch winner Craig Campbell (4:28.24) in one of the closest races of the day.
There was an Aberdeen win for Finlay McKay who took top spot in his race in 5:24.19.
Kai Crawford had to settle for second position in his race in 4:28.84 after a thrilling battle with Central AC’s Calum Philip.Crawford led from the start but was overtaken by Philip at the bell.