Charles Philibert-Thiboutot set Quebec athletics history on Saturday at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York City.
The 26-year-old Olympian ran 3:55.33 for fourth place in the men’s Wanamaker Mile. As first reported by Laval University head coach Félix-Antoine Lapointe, it was the first time that a Quebec athlete has broken the 4:00 barrier in the mile (1,609m) indoors.
Previously, the fastest Quebec athlete, according to Lapointe, had been Antoine Thibeault’s 4:00.12 at Boston University on Jan. 28. Philibert-Thiboutot, a Laval graduate, represented Canada in the men’s 1,500m at the 2016 Olympic Games reaching the semifinals. Lapointe and the speedy middle-distance runner continue to work together.
Philibert-Thiboutot, who runs for Asics, had run well under the 4:00 barrier earlier in his career but that time came outdoors. His lifetime best is 3:54.52 (Oslo, Norway) from June 2015. Indoor records and outdoor records are kept separately.
He was training in San Diego in the leadup to the Millrose Games, which were held at the Armory, considered one of the fastest indoor track surfaces in the country. The New York Road Runners, the organizers of the New York City Marathon, put on the Millrose Games, the “world’s longest-running and most prestigious indoor track and field competition.” The mile is just over eight laps of the Armory’s 200m track.
In 2016, Philibert-Thiboutot broke the Canadian all-comers 5K record (14:04) at the national championships in Toronto. He’s generally a 1,500m/mile runner though the mile is the lesser-contested of the two events.
Eric Jenkins, who runs with the Nike Oregon Project, the same training group as Canadian Cam Levins, won his first Wanamaker Mile on Saturday in a world-leading 3:53.23. Clayton Murphy, the Olympic bronze medallist in the 800m at the Rio Games, and Kyle Merber came second and third, respectively, separating Jenkins and Philibert-Thiboutot.
That feeling you get as you win the Wanamaker Mile at the 110th running of the NYRR Millrose Games. Oregon Project's Eric Jenkins made a strong move to go past Kyle Merber and hold off Clayton Murphy to win in 3:53.23. • ? @rossdettman @armorynyc @oregonproject #_ericjenkins #usatf #track #trackandfield #miler #nyrrmillrosegames #fierce #nike #nikerunning #running #wanamakermile #distance #oregonducks #emotion