Said Aouita of Morocco ran the second-fastest mile ever Thursday, 3:46.76, in the World Games IAAF Grand Prix meet at Helsinki, Finland.
Aouita, who took the lead with one lap to go after the second pace runner dropped out, finished only 44/100ths of a second off the record of 3:46.32 set by Steve Cram of Britain almost two years ago.
"It's difficult running alone in the last 400 meters," said Aouita, who already has world records in the 1,500 and the 5,000.
"Cram had somebody with him in the last lap when he set the record. That makes a difference."
Markus Hacksteiner of Switzerland finished second to Aouita in 3:55.67, and Sydney Maree, the American record-holder in the 1,500, 2,000 and 5,000, finished third in 3:55.99.