Alice Springs's John Bermingham sets sights on running 5,000m world record - Australian Latest news

Alice Springs’s John Bermingham sets sights on running 5,000m world record

John Bermingham, a retired maths teacher based in Alice Springs, has his eyes set on breaking the 5,000-metre track running world record later this year.

He just has turn 70 first.

The goal comes after a recent speedy dash at a recent inter-club race meet in Victoria earlier this month where the 69-year-old finished his race in 18:8.

“Look, it’s always satisfying,” he said.

Unbeknown to Bermingham, at the time of the race, if he were three months older, he would have smashed the record of New Zealander, Ron Roberston — by 7 seconds.

Robertson holds the record for running in the 70 to 74-year-old category.

“Not often in life, you wish you were three months older at a particular moment, but I sort of wished I was,” Bermingham said.

The self-confessed track runner was surprised at his time given he had not run track race for “maybe 20 years or more”.

four men running on a red running track.
John Bermingham, 69, running the 5,000m track event in 18:08. If he were three months older he would’ve snagged a world record.(

Supplied: John Bermingham


Finding his happy pace

Bermingham is hoping to take on the world record in November this year.

“It’s totally changed my year around in terms of plans,” he said.

Bermingham has been running for more than five decades and was a serious contender for the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

Despite not securing a spot on the Australian team 45 years ago, he had run a qualifying 5,000m in 13:35.

“I had the bad second part of the season and missed out on selection at the Olympic trials,” Bermingham said.

He is thankful that he can still be not only active at his age but also competitive.

“Every year seems like seven, so I don’t have a lot of time.

“I’ve probably got about six or eight months to have a reasonable chance.

The current world record holder Rob Robertson ran the race in 18:15.53 in 2011 at the World Masters Athletic Championships in the United States.

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