Steve Spence Keeps Streak Of Sub-5 Mile Alive For 42nd Year

The 55-year-old father of professional runner Neely Spence Gracey just ran a mile in 4:55.7 for the 42nd consecutive year.

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By this point, saying “Steve Spence does it again!” is getting a little redundant. And yet it’s his redundancy that is so impressive.

Spence, one of America’s most celebrated distance runners, beat the 5-minute mark on the mile for the 42nd-consecutive year, according to Herald-Mail Media. Earlier in the week Spence posted a 4:55.7 at North Hagerstown High School (Hagerstown, Md.) during the Pete Wright Memorial All-Comers Track & Field Series.

His streak began in 1976 and is believed to be the longest of its kind.

“It’s good to have this year out of the way,” he told the Herald-Mail. “I try to keep it fun, but it’s starting to become a little stressful because of the expectations I have of myself. Each year it gets a little harder. I have to train more. A few years ago, I could just go out and do it.”

Paced by a couple of younger runners, the 55-year-old ran the first half in 2:29 and the second half in 2:26. His final quarter was 72 seconds.

Spence, one of America’s strongest marathoners in the 80s and 90s, took bronze at the 1991 world marathon championships. He was 12th in the 1992 marathon at the Barcelona Olympics.

Spence, who serves as Shippensburg University’s men’s and women’s cross-country coach, is also the father of professional runner Neely Spence Gracey. Obviously, she was impressed with dad’s performance.