British athletic records in the last 20 years

Recently Mo Farah ran the London Marathon and the press made a lot of him failing to break Jones’ record of 2:07:13 set in Chicago on the 20th August 1985. Well “fail” is a bit strong as you could say any runner taking part in any marathon, on any day of the week, fails in an attempt to break that record.

In fact Jones had an amazing day in 1985 breaking four British records for the 25k, 30k, 20 miles and marathon in the same race and it shows just how much ahead of his time he was. He was interviewed on the London Marathon this year and looking back he must be amazed and proud that his record has stood so long in a distance that so many people run every week.

So thinking of this – how many British track and road records have been broken in the last 20 years?

Well the list is full of names that you would expect. Those that set World records which still stand as National records:

  • Sebastian Coe
  • Geoff Capes
  • Linford Christie
  • Ovett
  • Cram
  • Backley
  • Thompson

Whereas with women only a few names from the past are still on the list –  Zola Budd and Sally Gunnell for example. There are 219 male and female records of which 129 have been set in the last 20 years, so women have been more successful than men at breaking them.

One area where this sporting success has been missed and that’s walking: track and road, male and female. Here there are a total of 30 records, of which 2 have been set in the last 20 years. It runs completely against the trend of cycling, rowing, Alpine sports and even tennis. Why is this sport having such a hard time?

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