With no races in sight and an itch to compete, professional runners are taking up some unorthodox challenges. Johnny Gregorek is the second-fastest indoor miler in American history (only Bernard Lagat has run faster), and on May 30 he’s looking to shatter the blue jean mile world record.
The record stands currently at 4:11.80 and is held by Dillon Maggard, but before Maggard, it was held by Canadian Rory Linkletter. In July 2017, Linkletter set the record in Provo, Utah, where he was attending school. When asked if he would respond to Gregorek’s record attempt, Linkletter said, “Johnny has run a 3:49 mile. I think he’ll put the record way out of reach, to be honest. But I’m definitely going to watch.”
Gregorek’s run will be in memory of his brother Patrick and in support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is America’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by mental illness. The runner wrote on Instagram, “These resources are vital during this time of isolation, when our mental health can be as jeopardized as our physical health.”
The mile is a distance that’s special to the family, as Gregorek and his father (John Sr.) are the fastest father-son duo to cover the distance. They earned that title in 2017 when Gregorek Jr. ran 3:53.15 (a time he later lowered to 3:49.98).
Gregorek’s world record attempt is happening on May 30 at 6 p.m. ET and it’ll be streamed on Instagram live. Tune in and support a good cause as one of the world’s best milers looks to conquer this obscure event.