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One-mile running team to bid for world relay indoor record in Athlone

Published 13/11/2016

Irish one-mile runners are preparing to try to break the 4x1 mile relay indoor record in Athlone
Irish one-mile runners are preparing to try to break the 4x1 mile relay indoor record in Athlone

Four elite Irish one-mile runners are bidding to set a world record next month.

They will attempt to break the 4x1 mile relay indoor record in Athlone on December 17.

If successful Ireland would hold the fastest times for the indoor and outdoor events. Kieran Kelly, 27, from Dublin said they would give it their best effort.

He promised: "We will give it our best shot. I am feeling in good form."

The quartet of Paul Robinson, John Travers, Eoin Everard and Kelly take on the current indoor record held by the USA since 1993 and organisers said the prospect of establishing a new world record was on the cards.

Robinson, Travers and Everard have all broken the magical four-minute barrier and Kelly is one of the most promising up-and-coming middle distance runners.

To break the current record of 16:16:67, the runners will have to average a time of just over four minutes as they take on a European select squad.

Ireland has a storied tradition in indoor running, particularly over middle distance events, and the new crop of Irish milers will attempt to emulate one of the glory days of the 1980s when Ireland set the outdoor record.

Kelly said he had never represented his country before so it was an event to look forward to and hoped to crown his 28th birthday with a record.

Indoor running is slower because there are more bends in the track and Kelly said he would have preferred to have run in January or February which would be closer to his indoor peak.

"You are running on banks, you are running on more bends. Indoor running is slower than outdoor."

But Kelly said he was felling 100% fit.

The team will be captained and mentored by Paul Donovan, a two-time Olympian, world indoor medallist and a specialist in middle distance relay events.

In the 1980s, Donovan was an indoor champion at 1,500m and 3,000m.

He said: "The prospect of establishing a new world record is certainly on the cards.

"However, indoor running is slower than outdoor running due to tighter bends, and all must perform close to their best on the day."

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