Running isn't a glamorous sport. There's not much to it beyond "start here, run there," and it's something most of us have been doing our entire lives, usually without much thought.
But like other, more nuanced athletic endeavors, there is no comparison between elite runners and the rest of us. We've all played basketball or golf, but our games in no way resembles those of Kobe or Tiger. Same deal with running.
And that brings us to Sandburg High School (Orland Park, Ill.) senior Lukas Verzbicas, who became the fifth high school runner to recorder a sub-four minute mile. He busted out a time of 3:59 Saturday, winning the Dream Mile at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York City.
"I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was," Verzbicas said on Sunday, according to ESPN Chicago. "Having set the national record in the two-mile last weekend in Oregon, I thought going into this race a sub-four wasn't going to be a problem. As things were, it was very windy and raining. The conditions weren't great. It was very difficult to do. But the competition was great, and they really helped me out."
Verzbicas, who apparently doesn't consider running 15 miles per hour for an extended period much of an obstacle, accomplished the feat during his last race as a high school runner.
"There are so many expectations from myself and others at this point," he said. "I thought I had to do it. It was just a big relief." The four previous high school runners to break the four-minute barrier:
- Jim Ryun (1964)
- Tim Danielson (1966)
- Marty Liquori (1967)
- Alan Webb (2001)
"It's a great honor to be named among all those heroes of mine, legends of the running world for me," he said. "For me, it means so much because I consider myself more of a long-distance runner."