David Moorcroft sold on Cooks Gardens venue
"If you are going to celebrate the Mile, there are only a few places in the world you would do it and Cooks Gardens is certainly one: it's the home of the Mile."
By Iain Hyndman, Wanganui Chronicle
Former top British runner David Moorcroft OBE would happily swap some of his world records for a sub-4 minute Mile at famed Cooks Gardens in Whanganui.
The 64-year-old was back in Whanganui to thank the city on behalf of the rest for its long association with and promotion of the Mile on the world stage.
Moorcroft was to have been part of the Sir Peter Snell International Track & Field meeting at Cooks Gardens that was postponed until next year because of athlete unavailability. The event was to include the Snell Mile Challenge featuring reigning Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz, The Mile Down Under Gala Dinner and, of course the Sir Peter Snell International meeting. Even the great man himself, Sir Peter Snell, was scheduled to attend.
Because Moorcroft was already in the air winging his way to New Zealand when the postponement was announced, the former 5000m world record holder agreed to attend and speak at a function on Tuesday night.
Whanganui's athletic fraternity were joined at the the function by invited guests including top Kiwi athletes Dick Tayler and Tony Rogers, who also ran at Cooks Gardens.
"My job was to speak on behalf of the rest of the world and thank Whanganui for making the Mile such an iconic distance," Moorcroft said.
"I also talked about the influence New Zealand athletics and athletes like John Walker, Dick Quax and Rod Dixon had on world athletics - they certainly had a big impact on my career."
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