Olympic medallist Nick Willis has taken another record away from John Walker, a reminder of the incredible longevity that marked both men's athletic careers.
The 37-year-old Willis - who is buoyant about a fourth Olympic Games appearance – has just run a sub-four-minute mile for the 19th year in a row.
Walker, the 1976 Olympic 1500m gold medal winner, was the first athlete to break the magical 3 min 50s barrier for the mile. He was also the first to run 100 sub-four-minute miles.
The Kiwi legend also set a world record by running a sub-four-minute mile 18 years in succession.
Willis, who has won Olympic silver and bronze, has just set a new mark of 19 consecutive years by running the mile in 3min58.63sec at the Winter Classic in Clermont, Florida.
"It's a little bit of an obscure record I suppose – someone made me aware of it a few years ago," the Michigan-based Willis told NZME.
"It's been on my radar, a fun thing to aim for, to keep that streak going."
The first sub-four-minute mile was run by England's Roger Bannister in 1954. It still stands among the most famous moments in the history of sport.
Willis said setting the new mark had taken him back to when he ran his first mile under the four minute mark, at Notre Dame in 2003.
"This race did bring back those memories," he said.
"I remember calling my dad after that race, and right after this race he called me. So it's gone full circle."
Willis said he was always grateful to his Hutt Valley High School coach Don Dalgleish who had not over trained him. This enabled his talent to flourish at the right time in his 20s and early 30s.
And Willis believes his latest run in Florida indicated he was on a track for Japan where he hoped to be joined by the rising 20-year-old Sam Tanner in the 1500metres.
"I've read a couple of things in the past week where people aren't totally sure … I've got pretty strong thoughts [the Olympics] will go ahead," he said.
"There's a strong precedent with sports leagues and other events taking place, now going ahead with no fans in the stands.
"There's definitely a model or template how you can go about these things.
"The biggest challenge is that I'm a year older, and giving the young up-and-comers an opportunity for another year of improvement."
But his confidence is back.
Willis said: "My coach Ron Warhurst and my wife Sierra who is also my assistant coach have had more belief in me than I have in myself, when I've started doubting things significantly in the past 18 months.
"They've had unwavering doubt in my ability to still go strong and I'm starting to get the belief back in training. That was reflected in the result last night."
Willis broke Walker's national 1500m record of 3min.32.4sec in 2005.
The pair dominate New Zealand's record books – between them they have run 48 of the 50 top 1500m times.