Charlie Makes History in Monaco

Monday 15th July 2019

Paul Collicutt gives his thoughts on an incredible milestone by Charlie Grice.

A momentous event has occurred on Friday, as I'm sure you already know, as Charlie Grice has broken the Phoenix club record for 1500m. What that record was and who held it need to be given some context so that we may truly understand what Charlie has done.

Phoenix was formed in 1981. No one was allowed to carry over their previous PBs before the formation of the club to count as club records. Therefore, from day one, all the club records were set at zero and were up for grabs. In May 1981 Steve Ovett travelled to Antrim Stadium for the UK closed championships, an event that ran from 1977 to 1997. It was the first appearance of the newly formed Phoenix club. Steve won the 1500m in 3:42.80 from Frank Clement (5th in the Olympic 1500m in Montreal) and Jack Buckner (who would become European 5000m Champion ) and established the first club record at 1500m.

“"This really is a big breakthrough. Give him my congratulations on achieving such a great club record. I'm sure Steve will be really pleased that one of his club records has finally been broken after about 35 years. Charlie seems to be in a different class this year."”

Matt Paterson, Club Founder

Later on, in 1981, Steve moved the club record to 3:31.95 in Milan and then to 3:31.57 in Budapest. The following year in 1982 Steve was recovering from a severe injury when he hit scaffolding outside St.John's Church in Hove whilst running and he barely raced.

In 1983, a year in which he was coming back to form after his injury he managed 4th in the World Championship 1500m final in Helsinki and feeling like there was more there he travelled to Rieti in Italy at the end of the season and broke the world record for 1500m with a 3:30.77 clocking. Steve ran the last 450m of this race alone as the field dropped away. This was in fact Steve's 3rd World record at 1500m.

“"Great stuff well done Charlie. Good luck from now on in at Champs!!"”

Steve Ovett

On Friday night in the prestigious Monaco Diamond League meeting Charlie Grice ran 3.30.62 when coming fourth in the race. This time is not only a Phoenix club record and 3 seconds improvement for him but places Charlie 4th on the UK all-time list behind Mo Farah, Steve Cram and Seb Coe. 

To be blunt about it this time is truly World Class.

At Phoenix we celebrate our history. It does not weigh heavily on us but rather It makes us stronger. It bolsters us up as we push on into our new future.