Updike becomes second Alaskan to break 4-minute mile barrier

July 18, 2021

Isaac Updike

A few weeks after Isaac Updike suffered heartbreak on the track, the Ketchikan distance runner bounced back with one of his greatest performances.

The 29-year-old became the second Alaskan to run a 4-minute mile after posting a winning time of 3:58.26 at the American Track League in Mission Viejo, California.

Updike joined an exclusive club that was created by Roger Bannister, who was the first man to break the 4-minute mile in 1954.

Since then, only 592 American men have accomplished the feat, including two Alaskans.

Kodiak’s Trevor Dunbar was the first to do it in 2017 with a time a state record time of 3:55.54.

Now we can add Updike’s name to the list.

Updike, of Ketchikan High fame, suffered a heartbreaking result on June 26 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

In the lead on the final lap, and with an Olympic berth within his grasp, Updike faded down the stretch to finish fifth and see his Olympic dream slip away.

Rather than mope, he mopped up in the mile.

Updike, a former Eastern Oregon University star, beat former University of Oklahoma All-American Liam Meirow, who finished second in the mile in 3:59.40.

Updike continued his strong 2021 season that in April saw him post Alaska’s fastest steeplechase time of 8:17.74 at the Oregon Relays at historic Hayward Field in Eugene.

Updike shaved seven seconds off his PR and took down reigning U.S. champ Hillary Bor, who was third.