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Marcus O'Sullivan's Off-The-Ball Interview on 20th Anniversary of 100th Sub-4 Mile

Triple World Indoor 1,500m Champion in 45 Minute Interview

 

marcus o sullivan photo neal simpson empics sportMarcus O'Sullivan - Photo: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

February 25th, just a few days ago, saw the 20th anniversary of Marcus O'Sullivan's remarkable 101st, and final, sub-4 minute Mile, which he set in Melbourne, Australia. He was interviewed, on Off the Ball, on the occassion, speaking on how he 'got into coaching', and outlined some of his approach and philosophy.


Leevale AC's Marcus O’Sullivan is one of only three athletes to run 100, or more, sub-4:00 miles. He joined American Steve Scott (136 sub-4:00 miles) and New Zealander John Walker (124 sub-4:00 miles), on that list on February 13th, 1998, when he ran 3:58.10, at the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games.

His final sub-4:00 mile -- his 101st -- took place 12 days later, in Melbourne, Australia. In that final sub-4 performance, O'Sullivan came third behind Kenyans Daniel Komen (3:53.63) and Noah Ngeny (3:56.06). He also ran the metric equivalent of the sub-4:00 mile (i.e., sub 3:42.2, over 1500 meters) an additional 83 times in his career, to produce a staggering level of consistency.

As Marcus explain's in the interview below, each Mile had to meet minimum criteria, and had to be fully documented, hence he ran his 101st sub-4, "just to be sure", in case one of the first 100 was 'scratched', for not meeting the criteria.  In the event, all 100 sub-4's stood, along with the 'insurance run'.

Triple World 1,500m Indoor Champion

Marcus O’Sullivan is a three-time World Indoor 1500 meter Champion; In 1987 (Indianapolis), 1989 (Budapest), and 1993 (Toronto). He set championship records in each of his 1987 and 1989 victories. He was also 4th in the 1991 Seville world indoor championships.

 

Olympic Games

He represented Ireland at four Olympic Games: 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996, at both 800 meters and 1500 meters and reached the 1500 meter finals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.


Millrose Games - Wannamaker Mile

He won the prestigious Wanamaker Mile in Madison Square Garden's Millrose Games five times (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992).
His PB for the mile is 3:50.96, which he set indoors, in East Rutherford, NJ, on February 13, 1988,  and his PB for 1500 meters is 3:33.65, which he set in 1992.

 

World Records

He set an indoor 1500 meters world record of 3:35.4, on February 10, 1989.


He was one of a quartet of Irish runners, along with Ray Flynn, Eamonn Coghlan, and Frank O'Mara, who set the still standing world record in the 4 by 1 Mile relay, at the UCD Belfield track, in Dublin, on August 17, 1985, runing 15:49.08.

Off-the-Ball Interview

 

 

Indianapolis World Championpionship 1,500m 1987



Cork City Sports 1988 - Mardyke Arena

 

Marcus O'Sullivan's Records

marcus o sullivan medal record

 

Outdoor

DisciplinePerformanceWindPlaceDate
800 Metres 01:45.9   Berlin (GER) 23-Aug-85
1000 Metres 02:19.2   London (GBR) 22-Aug-87
1500 Metres 03:33.6   Monaco (MON) 10-Aug-96
One Mile 03:51.6   Oslo (NOR) 01-Jul-89
2000 Metres 04:55.1   Nice (FRA) 10-Jul-96
3000 Metres 07:42.5   London (UK) 14-Jul-89
5000 Metres 13:27.3   Berlin (GER) 04-Jul-90
5 Kilometres 13:45   Carlsbad (USA) 29-Mar-92
4x800 Metres Relay 07:12.3   Philadelphia (USA) 24-Apr-82
4x1500 Metres Relay 14:52.8   Philadelphia (USA) 28-Apr-84

 

Indoor

DisciplinePerformanceWindPlaceDate
1000 Metres 02:20.2   New York (USA) 25-Jan-85
1500 Metres 03:35.4   East Rutherford (USA) 10-Feb-89
One Mile 03:50.9   East Rutherford (USA) 13-Feb-88
3000 Metres 07:50.5   Birmingham (UK) 23-Feb-97

 

Marcus O'Sullivan's 101 Sub-4 Miles

NoDateVenueTimeIndoors (i)
1 Jan. 22, 1983 Chapel Hill, NC 03:58.8 (i)
2 Jan. 28, 1983 New York, NY 03:59.1 (i)
3 July 13, 1983 Cork, Ireland 03:56.7  
4 July 20, 1983 Luxembourg 03:59.6  
5 July 3, 1984 Cork, Ireland 03:56.1  
6 July 21, 1984 Oslo, Norway 03:55.8  
7 Jan. 19, 1985 Johnson City, TN 03:57.1 (i)
8 Feb. 9, 1985 East Rutherford, NJ 03:57.1 (i)
9 June 9, 1985 Villanova, PA 03:54.1  
10 June 24, 1985 Belfast, N. Ireland 03:56.7  
11 July 9, 1985 Cork, Ireland 03:52.6  
12 July 23, 1985 Edinburgh, Scotland 03:56.4  
13 Aug. 2, 1985 London, England 03:57.3  
14 Aug. 30, 1985 Brussels, Belgium 03:59.3  
15 Jan. 17, 1986 Los Angeles, CA 03:58.4 (i)
16 Feb. 1, 1986 Dallas, TX 03:57.4 (i)
17 Feb. 8, 1986 East Rutherford, NJ 03:57.3 (i)
18 Feb. 14, 1986 New York, NY 03:56.0 (i)
19 Feb. 21, 1986 Inglewood, CA 03:57.2 (i)
20 Feb. 28, 1986 New York, NY 03:57.3 (i)
21 June 30, 1986 Belfast, N. Ireland 03:58.5  
22 July 8, 1986 Cork, Ireland 03:53.5  
23 July 11, 1986 London, England 03:54.6  
24 Aug. 6, 1986 Dublin, Ireland 03:58.5  
25 Sept. 12, 1986 London, England 03:54.1  
26 Jan. 30, 1987 New York, NY 03:56.5 (i)
27 Feb. 14, 1987 East Rutherford, NJ 03:57.7 (i)
28 Feb. 21, 1987 Inglewood, CA 03:56.9 (i)
29 June 4, 1987 Madrid, Spain 03:59.4  
30 July 4, 1987 Oslo, Norway 03:54.3  
31 July 7, 1987 Cork, Ireland 03:58.8  
32 July 15, 1987 Barcelona, Spain 03:56.3  
33 July 20, 1987 Belfast, N. Ireland 03:59.3  
34 Aug. 19, 1987 Zurich, Switzerland 03:52.8  
35 Jan. 22, 1988 Johnson City, TN 03:57.8 (i)
36 Feb. 5, 1988 New York, NY 03:56.9 (i)
37 Feb. 13, 1988 East Rutherford, NJ 03:50.9 (i)
38 Feb. 26, 1988 New York, NY 03:59.8 (i)
39 July 16, 1988 Gateshead, England 03:57.8  
40 Aug. 17, 1988 Zurich, Switzerland 03:52.5  
41 Aug. 26, 1988 Berlin, Germany 03:57.2  
42 Jan. 27, 1989 Johnson City, TN 03:57.6 (i)
43 Feb. 3, 1989 New York, NY 03:54.3 (i)
44 Feb. 5, 1989 Fairfax, VA 03:58.1 .
45 Feb. 10, 1989 East Rutherford, NJ 03:51.7 (i)
46 Feb. 24, 1989 New York, NY 03:59.2 (i)
47 July 1, 1989 Oslo, Norway 03:51.6  
48 July 22, 1989 New York, NY 03:53.6  
49 Sept. 15, 1989 London, England 03:56.7  
50 Feb. 2, 1990 New York, NY 03:59.3 (i)
51 Feb. 9, 1990 East Rutherford, NJ 03:58.4  
52 Feb. 16, 1990 Inglewood, CA 03:57.0 (i)
53 Feb. 23, 1990 New York, NY 03:57.3 (i)
54 July 29, 1990 New York, NY 03:55.5  
55 Jan. 25, 1991 Johnson City, TN 03:59.0 (i)
56 Feb. 1, 1991 New York, NY 03:55.2 (i)
57 Feb. 8, 1991 East Rutherford, NJ 03:56.7 (i)
58 Feb. 22, 1991 New York, NY 03:58.6 (i)
59 July 21, 1991 New York, NY 03:56.2  
60 Jan. 25, 1992 Johnson City, TN 03:57.4 (i)
61 May 24, 1992 New York, NY 03:59.0  
62 Aug. 25, 1992 Copenhagen, Denmark 03:57.7  
63 Jan. 15, 1993 Hamilton, Ontario 03:59.3 (i)
64 Jan. 23, 1993 Boston, MA 03:58.3 (i)
65 Jan. 30, 1993 Johnson City, TN 03:59.6 (i)
66 Feb. 5, 1993 New York, NY 03:55.4 (i)
67 Feb. 19, 1993 Portland, OR 03:57.6 (i)
68 Feb. 26, 1993 New York, NY 03:54.9 (i)
69 June 25, 1993 Indianapolis, IN 03:54.5  
70 July 9, 1993 Cork, Ireland 03:58.0  
71 Aug. 27, 1993 Berlin, Germany 03:52.8  
72 Sept. 3, 1993 Brussels, Belgium 03:55.5  
73 Jan. 16, 1994 Montreal, Canada 03:59.7 (i)
74 Jan. 22, 1994 Johnson City, TN 03:59.2 (i)
75 Feb. 4, 1994 New York, NY 03:58.8 (i)
76 July 26, 1994 St. Petersburg, Russia 03:53.9  
77 Jan. 13, 1995 Hamilton, Ontario 04:00.0 (i)
78 Jan. 29, 1995 Johnson City, TN 03:59.1 (i)
79 Feb. 3, 1995 New York, NY 03:57.1 (i)
80 Feb. 17, 1995 Cleveland, OH 03:59.1 (i)
81 Feb. 25, 1995 Fairfax, VA 03:56.5 (i)
82 June 2, 1995 Haverford, PA 03:59.9  
83 Aug. 27, 1995 London, England 03:57.1  
84 Sept. 1, 1995 Berlin, Germany 03:54.3  
85 Oct. 21, 1995 Hong Kong, China 03:59.7  
86 March 2, 1996 Atlanta, GA 03:59.0 (i)
87 May 18, 1996 Atlanta, GA 03:56.9  
88 May 26, 1996 Eugene, OR 03:53.8  
89 July 5, 1996 Oslo, Norway 03:52.8  
90 Aug. 30, 1996 Berlin, Germany 03:54.9  
91 Jan. 25, 1997 Boston, MA 03:57.5 (i)
92 May 14, 1997 Haverford, PA 03:57.5  
93 May 25, 1997 Eugene, OR 03:53.9  
94 June 4, 1997 Haverford, PA 03:57.4  
95 June 29, 1997 Sheffield, England 03:57.5  
96 July 4, 1997 Oslo, Norway 03:52.6  
97 July 16, 1997 Nice, France 03:52.8  
98 Aug. 26, 1997 Berlin, Germany 03:52.0  
99 Jan. 25, 1998 Haverford, PA 03:58.6 (i)
100 Feb. 13, 1998 New York, NY 03:58.1 (i)
101 Feb. 25, 1998 Melbourne, Australia 03:56.3  

 

World indoor legends – Marcus O’Sullivan


Marcus O'Sullivan's Villanova Bio

 

Marcus O'Sullivan's Wikipedia Entry

Marcus O'Sullivan (born 22 December 1961) is a retired Irish middle distance runner. Although he wasn't planning to go to any of Ireland's universities, O'Sullivan's running encouraged him to go to Villanova University at 19. After four years of education at Villanova, O'Sullivan graduated with a degree in accounting and later attained an MBA and a CPA.

Career

O'Sullivan quickly became a world class runner, and took part in four summer Olympic Games. He won three gold medals at the World Indoor Championships over 1500m. He is third all-time (trailing Steve Scott, at 137 and John Walker, at 127) with total sub-4 minute miles, at 101.

The three World Indoor 1500 metre Championships won by O'Sullivan were in 1987 (Indianapolis), 1989 (Budapest), and 1993 (Toronto). In his victories in 1987 and 1989, he set championship records. He was 4th in the 1991 Seville world indoor championships.

At the 1985 European Athletics Indoor Championships, O'Sullivan won a silver medal in the 1500m.

O'Sullivan qualified for four Olympic Games for Ireland: 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996, at both 800 metres and 1500 metres. He reached the 1500 metre finals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He set an indoor 1500 metres world record of 3:35.4 on 10 February 1989, and was generally regarded as a better competitor running indoors. This is evidenced by the fact that O'Sullivan won the prestigious Wanamaker Mile in Madison Square Garden's Millrose Games six times (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, and 1996).

His personal best for the mile, which was set indoors in 1988, is 3:50.94. His personal best for the 1500 metres, which was set outdoors in 1996, is 3:33.61.

O'Sullivan, along with Irish runners Ray Flynn, Eamonn Coghlan, and Frank O'Mara established the still standing world record in the 4 x 1 mile relay, when they combined in Dublin on August 17, 1985 to run 15:49.08.

O'Sullivan now runs the RunningWorks cross country camp during the summer, and is the head coach of Villanova cross country and track and field. He was coached by Tom Donnelly of Haverford College and advised Bob Kennedy in the later years before Kennedy's retirement.

In addition to his ties to American record holder Bob Kennedy, O'Sullivan has coached elite professional runners such as Canadian indoor world silver medalist Carmen Douma-Hussar, and New Zealander Adrian Blincoe.

 

 

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Cork Athletics is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.

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