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Why the Clevedon 4 men’s record may never be broken

BRISTOL & West AC coach Mike Down believes that it is unlikely that the men’s course record in the Clevedon 4 miles road race held on Boxing Day will ever be broken.

Ian Gillespie, who was coached by Down, set that mark of 18min 25secs 20 years ago and to underline the quality of the time it is worth noting that the former Westbury Harrier was a 13mins 18secs man over 5000m who also dipped inside 3mins 40secs for 1500m.

It was that sort of track speed that enabled Gillespie to scorch around the Clevedon course to post a mark that has reigned supreme ever since.

“I remember when Ian set that record he attacked it right from the gun,” said Down.

“He started really hard through the town, which rarely happens these days and he went through two miles in 8mins 40secs!

“Then you come to the famous hill and you need to do that next mile in five minutes to stay on course for the record. Ian did that and it is a hell off a time.

“To be honest I don’t think we will ever see it broken. It would need an international standard athlete who is fit and determined to come along and attack the race in the same way as Ian did.

“I don’t see that happening.”