For at Least the Fifth Time This Year, the Basketball Mile World Record Is Broken

The basketball mile world record has been broken again. Yep—this is at least the fifth time the record has been broken in 2020.

a person on a court with a football ball: Max Aronow has set the new basketball mile world record after recording a 4:30.38 on November 28.

© Courtesy of Max Aronow
Max Aronow has set the new basketball mile world record after recording a 4:30.38 on November 28.

Dylan Sorensen broke the record for the second time this year on November 18. But 10 days after that, on November 28, Hartbeat Track Club’s Max Aronow took down that mark, clocking a 4:30.38 mile while dribbling a basketball.

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The 23-year-old heard about the record for the first time four weeks ago when his brother, Miles, a junior at Wesleyan University, told him about it. The former high school point guard, who had a hankering for competition with minimal racing this year, decided to take a basketball to the track to try some 400s while dribbling.

“I jogged and dribbled to the track, and [ran] 60 and 66-second [400s], and I was like, Oh, I think I can do this if I put on some spikes,” Aronow told Runner’s World. “There’s not much to do with quarantine, so I texted my brother and some teammates to see if we could do it.”

Initially, he planned to run on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. Instead, he decided to let his food sit and attempt the record a day later.

On his alma mater track at Hall High School in Hartford, Connecticut, he set out with a pacer for the first lap at a comfortable 68 seconds. Without a pacer, he followed that up with a 70-second second lap, trying to focus on smooth dribbling technique.

With two laps to go, he felt like he could push for the record on the final two laps.

“I took off on that third lap and did a 65,” Aronow said. “There was all this adrenaline heading into the final lap. I had a chance for the record, so I went for it.”

a woman playing a game on the court: IMG_0242.PNG

© Courtesy of Max Aronow

As Aronow neared the line, he heard his Hartbeat teammate counting off the seconds: 4:28, 4:29, and finally 4:30 as he crossed the line. His official time was 4:30.38, beating the existing record by three seconds.

“It’s almost like running without your arms,” he said. “With 300 to go, you usually rely on your arms to hit the next gear for the last kick, but you can’t really do that while dribbling a basketball. I was honestly just trying to make sure I didn’t lose the basketball.”

He celebrated briefly with his teammates and brother at the track. His parents and his mom were also excited for him to be a world record holder. Additionally, he said he heard from some of his old basketball friends, who reached out with congratulations.

With the record in the books, Aronow said he and the Hartbeat team are still figuring out what to do next—but another time trial is likely.

And if Aronow’s record is broken, he said he’ll likely give it another go.

“I’m a 4:19 miler, and there are a lot of guys who are 4-flat milers who, if they have skill with a basketball, could get the record faster,” he said. “It would be cool to see some college runners who might not have an indoor season go for it. It’s a cool outlet to keep running and training.”

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