Kiwi Nick Willis has run a personal best for the 3000m at
the Zagreb World Challenge meeting in Croatia this morning.
Willis' time of 7:40.62 took more than four seconds off his
previous best, a 7:44.90 indoors in Boston nine years ago.
His best outdoor time stood at 7:45.97, set in Lausanne in
Willis placed tenth in the high quality field in the
penultimate World Challenge meet of the European season. The
race was won by Kenyan Caleb Ndikui in a meeting record of
The time moves Willis up from fifth to second on the New
Zealand all-time 3000m list, behind John Walker's New Zealand
record of 7:37.49 set in 1982.
Willis found the extra distance tough.
"My body and mind were in shock once I passed the 1200m mark.
The fitness is obviously there, but I hadn't done anything to
prepare specifically for a race over a mile, so it felt like
I was just hanging on for dear life," Willis said.
The Olympic silver medallist returns to the familiar distance
of 1500m this weekend in the Italian city of Rieti.
"That [3000m] should hopefully bode well for my lone 1500m
race remaining this season. Would be nice to knock the
Commonwealth Games Qualifier out of the way a year in
advance. Most guys are getting tired at the end of the
season, but I seem to be just rounding into form."