On his 30th birthday, University of North Carolina (UNC) track coach Dylan Sorensen hit the track for a mile time trial. This mile run was a little different than any of his previous track sessions, though, because he wasn’t just running a mile—he was also dribbling a basketball. Decked out in a Michael Jordan UNC jersey, Sorensen ran four laps of the track in 4:37, breaking the previous world record by 15 seconds.
Running a mile while dribbling a basketball has been a hotly-contested world record in the last year, with former U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds breaking it last August, only to have another runner, Thomas Schauerman, lower the world’s best time a few days later. Symmonds ran 5:29 in his attempt, breaking the previous record of 6:06. Schauerman, who runs at California Polytechnic State University, beat Symmonds’ time by 37 seconds, posting a 4:52 and becoming the first person to go sub-five for the dribbling mile. Sorensen lowered the record once again, running 4:37.
Before becoming a coach, Sorensen ran at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He boasts personal bests of 3:47.28 for the 1,500m, 8:13.08 for the 3,000m and 8:47.07 in the 3,000m steeplechase, an event in which he placed 15th in the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in 2013. He also has a mile PB of 4:06.27.
Could any NBA player beat this?? https://t.co/KLRM2uGcS5
— Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) May 18, 2020
A 4:37 mile is quick under normal circumstances, but adding a basketball into the mix makes it all the more impressive. Sorensen’s 400m splits were 68, 71, 70 and 68 seconds. He averaged 2:52 per kilometre pace for the 1,600m run. Sorensen’s record garnered a lot of attention in the running community over the weekend, including Canadian journalist and running enthusiast Malcolm Gladwell, who asked, “Could any NBA player beat this?” They might have better dribbling skills than Sorensen, but we doubt any NBA star could match his speed.