The magic mile

Santry 1958: 60 years on from the race of the century

Dan Carbery was 19 when he raced against Olympic champions in what turned out to be a record-breaking race in Santry. / YouTube

LAST MONTH MARKED the 60th anniversary of one of the most celebrated track races ever hosted in Ireland.

Just after the Empire Games (now known as the Commonwealth Games) took place in Cardiff, some of the world’s leading milers were brought to Santry by promoter Billy Morton to run in the new stadium that had just opened. 

Included in the field were the Olympic gold medalist Ronnie Delany and Empire Games gold medalist Herb Elliott. 

The race left such a lasting legacy because the winner on the night, the Australian Elliott, smashed the then world record, finishing the mile in 3:54.5. 

On top of that, it was the first time in history that the top five finishers all finished in under four minutes. 

Also running that day was a 19-year-old Dan Carbery from Carlow, who still remembers the race, and the thousands of people that came to watch it, clearly. 

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