DAVE Bishop’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games have been given a big boost after he gained membership of a very special club, writes Kevin Fahey.
Competing at the Morton Games in Dublin, Bishop realised a lifelong ambition to run a mile in under four minutes.
In his 16th attempt at the classic distance that still holds such an emotional tug for British middle distance runners in particular, the Chippenham international smashed through the barrier with 3mins 56.96secs.
“It has been long time coming and it is great to finally beat what is a famous landmark,” said Bishop.
“To the general public running a mile under four minutes still means a lot and is more significant that running 1500m in 3mins 37secs (which is Bishop’s best for the metric equivalent).
“I was really pleased with that run.”
Bishop first ran a mile just days before his 17th birthday in 2004 clocking 4mins 21.55secs.
As a senior his first serious attempt at the distance was an indoor mile in 2009 and he came within a whisker of breaking the barrier with 4:00.38 in Seattle.
“When I did that, smashing my personal best, I thought it would just be a matter of time before breaking four minutes but it just never happened,” added Bishop.
“Either races were too slow, or too fast, or I was just not in good enough shape and I just kept missing out. Suddenly the years went by and I had not got under four minutes.”
The difficulty in running four minutes was no better illustrated when Bishop got an invite to the prestigious Bislett Games mile in Oslo in June last year and lined up alongside a world-class field.
“That was the last time I did a mile before Dublin and I reached the bell in 2mins 53secs but I was completely dead,” admitted Bishop, who took a painful 67 seconds for the final circuit to finish in 4:00.43.
“In Dublin the pace was great and when I reached the bell in 2:57/58 feeling fairly composed I knew that if I didn’t go crazy I would get the time.
“It certainly isn’t easy especially when you don’t get to run the distance very often these days so it is very nice to finally do it and it just shows I am getting into decent shape.”
Bishop backed up his mile effort by winning the 800m at the Welsh Athletics International in Cardiff on Tuesday night in a personal best time of 1mins 50.22secs – shaving 0.02secs off his 2012 best.
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