Years ago, Ogden native Brad Barton thought his chances of breaking a world record had come and gone.
But Saturday night, 46-year-old Barton set a world record in the men's master mile at the Columbia Final Qualifier at The Armory in New York. Most of the competitors in the men's mile race were NCAA athletes attempting to qualify for the NCAA indoor championships, which is held next week.
The Columbia Final Qualifier was Barton's fifth attempt this year to set a new world record. The previous USAFT indoor one-mile run wasters age group world record was 4:20.18, set in 2008 by John Hinton.
"I have struggled with injury and illness and haven't felt right the last few weeks. But my coach made some important adjustments in my training schedule that seemed to make a difference," Barton said. "I just felt great Saturday."
Barton ran the first half of his race conservatively and then he really started moving in the second half picking off the college athletes one by one.
"My first half-mile was running 2:10.0 The second half was 2:06.8. With 400 meters to go I knew I had the record. The announcer got the crowd into it and I really flew home. I thought I could run 4:19 but bested my own aspirations by well over two seconds and smash the previous record by over three seconds," Barton said.
His official time: 4:16.83.
Barton plans on competing in the 3,000 meters and the mile at the U.S. Masters Championships in Landover Md, on March 22-23. And, if he can stay healthy, he would like to try for the outdoor 1,500 meters American masters record.
"I'm thrilled to have been able to accomplish this long sought-after goal. As the fastest age group Masters miler in the world it would be fun to compete at the World Championships in Torino, Italy, this fall," said Barton.
After college, Barton put his running career on hold to be a husband, father, author and professional speaker. In 2012, Barton decided to come out of retirement along with his former USAFT Hall of Fame college coach Chick Hislop.
"In college I could run a 4-minute mile. I was just curious to see if I could even break a 5-minute mile," Barton said.
Barton has a history of running fast. He was a member of the Weber State University track team, and in 1990 and 1991, he ran the mile in the NCAA indoor track & field championships. In 1991 he earned NCAA All-America honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Barton also competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1992.
Barton is sponsored by Get Air, Trampoline Parks LLC - a Utah based company.