Nick Berra, Brad Barton set M45 indoor world records at Armory

Brad (left) and Nick both set M45 WRs at Armory.

Brad (left) and Nick set 3K, 800 WRs at Armory.

Nick Berra completed what he calls “the most fulfilling race I’ve ever run” Saturday, just missing his age 41 PR of 1:56.06 for the indoor 800. But no matter. He clocked an amazing 1:56.10 at an Armory meet in New York to smash the listed M45 world record of 1:56.29 by local star Anselm LeBourne in 2005. “The weight of the world is off me now,” Nick said in a videotaped interview (below). “I’ve really had a good last 12 months. … This is obviously the highlight of my masters career.” Brad Barton, 47, running 3000 at the same meet, clocked 8:26.15 to crush Craig Fram’s listed American record of 8:39.74 and Spaniard Jesus Borrego’s listed WR of 8:34.58. “This is the first time I’ve raced this year,” Barton told interviewers. “We were just going to go for the American record today…but I was a little fast at 2-k and felt good.” Nick, whose career has included Hartshorne mile wins and national titles, has been on our radar for years. But Nick’s time is short of Tony Young’s never-ratified 1:55.70 on the oversized track at the University of Washington, also set at age 46. Nick says his high school best was 1:53.8. So he’s lost less than 3 seconds in 28 years. Yowza!

Here’s another RunnerSpace interview — with Brad:

I received more information about Brad later Sunday night:

Last weekend Ogden native Brad Barton joined basketball legends Sessions Harlan, Harold Arceneaux and Eddie Gill, and football great Fine Unga, in being inducted into the Weber State University Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 47-year-old Barton added to that fame this weekend. He smashed the 3000 m Masters (45-49) age-group World Record by an amazing eight seconds, and the American Record by almost 14 seconds, at the Columbia Final Qualifier at The Armory track in uptown Manhattan. His time, 8:26.15.

This was Barton’s first race of the year. His coach, Chick Hislop, advised him to race conservatively and come through the first 2000 m at the American Record pace. At that point he could decide which record to try for.

“I knew I was fit coming in here, but because I haven’t raced this year there were some big question marks. I kept my pace dead-on through the first mile. I eased the throttle down a bit at that point and was astounded how terrific I felt at the 2K mark. I decided to go all in, forget about the American Record and go for the World Record. Once I got rolling excitement and momentum carried me through. I passed a lot of talented college kids less than half my age in that last thousand meters. The excitement fueled my record-breaking rush to the finish. Tonight was a case of age before beauty,” Barton quipped with a smile.

Barton, a former NCAA All-American Steeplechaser, obliterated Craig Fram’s American Record of 8:39.74 (2005 – Boston) and Jesus Borrego’s (Spain) World Record of 8:34.58 (2007 – Seville).

“8:26.15? That’s within nine seconds of my collegiate personal record. I had no idea I could run that fast. I felt invincible tonight,” Barton said.

Barton ran a Masters World Record breaking Mile Run, 4:16.83, at this same meet in 2013. He went on to capture multiple U.S. Masters and World Masters Games titles and set American Records in the 3000 m Steeplechase in 2013.

He is sponsored by Get Air Sports, Trampoline Parks LLC and Get Away Today Vacations – both top of Utah-based companies. Barton, a Certified Speaking Professional, authored the book Beyond Illusions and travels widely as a leadership and continuous improvement speaking professional.

Next up, Barton and Hislop plan to break the 3000 m Steeplechase World Record. “I had a great 2013 campaign but I missed that Steeple World Record by just over one second. I’m stronger than I was last year. We believe we can do this.”

The listed M45 WR for 3K steeple goes way back to 1984 — a 9:16.1 by Norway’s Nils Undersåker. Brad’s recent best is 9:17.59.

Here’s the BB3K race video:

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March 9, 2014

13 Responses

  1. Peter Taylor - March 9, 2014

    And the hits just keep on coming. Nick Berra has had a sensational winter, and this new mark of 1:56.10 is just fantastic. I am somewhat concerned, however, about the implication of the words “never-ratified” regarding Tony Young’s 1:55.70 of several years ago.

    Tony’s mark was set on a big track (I think it was 307 meters), and indoor times set on “big tracks” are not supposed to be ratified. The twin implications in this posting are that (a) Tony was wronged, and (b) Nick Berra is getting something he doesn’t deserve.

    Per the rules, any track that is larger than 201.2 meters or 220 yards is not eligible for indoor records, and there is certainly ample justification for such a measure.

    Congratulations to Brad Barton as well. Brad ran at Landover nationals in 2013, but I don’t see anything for him in the Boston entries. Nick is entered in the 400, 800, and mile.

  2. Gary - March 9, 2014

    Great..unbelievable…What can you say?

  3. ToNy yOuNg - March 9, 2014

    Well done Nick. You have been consistently good for a long time now. Continued health and success.

    Peter- I gave up caring about the numerous (8 yrs) of running AR/WR efforts on the only indoor facility in my neck of the woods long ago.


  4. Nolan Shaheed - March 9, 2014

    Now That’s What I’m Tawkin’ “bout

    Congratulations Nick.

  5. Brad Barton - March 9, 2014

    Such a fine accomplishment Nick. Congratulations! Great to share the spotlight with you last evening in New York.

    Sure wish I could be in Boston next weekend. Would love to try to defend my Mile and 3000 m titles but I have a family nonnegotiable in the way. With six children this kind of thing happens often. Wishing you all a fabulous championships.

  6. Ken Stone - March 9, 2014

    Other WRs over the weekend at USATF indoor multis nationals at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Details to come, but here are raw results for men and women:

  7. Nolan Shaheed - March 10, 2014

    I’m going to miss seeing you in Boston Brad. Great job and awesome running.

  8. ToNy yOuNg - March 10, 2014

    Brad – left you off the congrats. Sorry. You have such great range. Your old man steeple time makes my hammy ache, but then everything does now. Make hay while you can – cheers & health

  9. Matt B. - March 10, 2014

    Masters athletes aging slower- amazing and this rate of decline will become more commonplace.
    Didn’t realize LeBourne was 52 when he ran 1:59.62, that must be the record for oldest athlete to break 2 indoors or out. Superior to Shaheed’s record.
    Age 50 1:58.65 = 98.03%
    Age 52 1:59.62 = 98.86%

  10. Brad Barton - March 12, 2014

    Tony, love your hammy ache comment. Made me smile. Believe me, the Steeple makes my hammy ache but I am looking forward to giving it a go. We do my first outdoor Steeple interval tommorow.
    How is your fitness level? I’d love to know you are still in the hunt.

    So sorry not to see you in Boston Nolan. What a pleasure to meet a legion last year. I had looked forward to getting to know you better. Tony mentioned range. I think you have redefined what range is, especially over so many age groups. What an amazing role model you are.

    I appreciate you all for your encouragement.

  11. Rob Sehnert - March 12, 2014


    Congratulations classmate!

  12. KP - March 15, 2014

    Excellent interview Nick. Motivating us old timers. Thanks.

  13. Sal Allah - March 19, 2014

    Congrats to you both on great runs!
    Nick, look forward to observing your quest to better my 1:54.18. Hope you have an injury-free journey.

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