Lee clocks world best time

A top runner from St Leonards has clocked the fastest time in the world for the mile this indoor season.

Lee Emanuel’s time of 3:54:30 set in New York was also number three on the all-time British list - just a couple of seconds behind record holder Peter Elliott.

Lee Emanuel has clocked the fastest mile in the world during the current indoor season. Picture by Simon Newstead

Lee Emanuel has clocked the fastest mile in the world during the current indoor season. Picture by Simon Newstead

Emanuel told Observer Sport: “It’s cool to be the fastest guy in the world. I thought I was going to run well, but I wasn’t quite anticipating running that fast. I knew I was in really good shape after running a really good 800 metres the week before.”

The time came at a big high school meet where sponsors New Balance brought in professional and semi-professional athletes to run.

“It was a really solid field with a lot of really good American distance runners,” continued Emanuel, who won by 0.3 seconds. “I sat on the shoulder of a guy who was running well in cross-country and outkicked him at the end.

“In terms of the quality of the field, it’s definitely the best race I’ve ever won. The guy that came second has run a 3:52 mile.”

Having headed out to the United States in September, Emanuel is now back this side of the Atlantic ahead of the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield this weekend.

Although his performance in New York was four seconds inside the qualifying time for the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, Emanuel must win the 1,500m this weekend to make sure of his place in the British team which travels to Poland during March.

Emanuel regards Scottish talent Chris O’Hare - who reached the 1,500m final at the outdoor World Championships in Moscow last year - and Brighton youngster Charlie Grice as his two main threats. “It should be the best trial race for a long time, but I will be disappointed if I don’t win it,” he went on.

Having turned 29 last week, Emanuel feels he is in the best shape of his career after reuniting with his old university coach Joe Franklin in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He said: “It’s by a long way the best I’ve ever felt in the winter. I’ve increased my training a ton; I’m running more miles, I’ve been in the gym for the first time and doing some speed stuff on hills.

“Everything’s kind of fallen into place and I think I’m finally close to being where I always thought I could be in terms of the international scene.”

His main target for the year is to be the British number one and he also wants to represent England at the Commonwealth Games.

Emanuel would welcome any form of sponsorship. Interested parties should email lemanuel1500@yahoo.co.uk