Getting Big Air
Brad Barton's son, a Division I collegiate runner, made the mistake of calling his dad an "old man."
Barton, once an All-American in the steeplechase at Weber State University in Utah, told him, "When you beat me in the mile, you can call me an old man."
Well, dad has made it a lot tougher for his son. Running in the mile at the Columbia Final Qualifier on Saturday night at The Armory, Barton ran an age-group world record 4:16.84. Afterward he said, "I didn't think I could run that fast."
And with good reason. No one his age (46) had ever broken 4:20 before as the previous mark was 4:20.18 set by John Hinton in 2008. After hitting his 800- and 1,200-meter goals on the nose, he sprinted out a 62-second final 400 to beat a number of competitors half his age.
Barton, who lives in Ogden, Utah, has been chasing that mark for a while. He'd run 4:21.5 in Boise earlier this year and then gave ill-fated efforts in both Boston and Ithaca before finding success at The Armory.
His Saturday night run was also within a second of the age-group outdoor record (4:16.09, Tony Young, 2008), which brought a twinkle to his eye as he began thinking about his next record pursuit.
Barton's recent run of success has been guided by the same man who guided him a quarter-century ago in college — USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Chick Hislop. Barton ran for Coach Hislop in the early 1990s, qualifying for NCAA Indoors twice and earning All-American status in the steeple in 1991. A few years ago when Barton told Hislop that he was still running 4:30, the coach urged him to see it through.
Now a professional speaker, Barton is sponsored by Get Air Sports, a company that constructs trampoline parks which have been popping up in the West and are now moving East. "The owner and founder is my neighbor," he said.