Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bring back the Mile

I have only ever ran two 1 Mile track races in my life, both at the age of 41 years.  That was in 1998, the first in June was at a North East Veterans meeting where I won the race in 4.36.5.  The second attempt was a few weeks later in August where I finished 3rd in 4.36.3.  My pb for the mile as a senior (4.44) came as part of a 25 x 1 mile relay, where a team of  5 runners each run 5 x 1 mile.

Despite my lack of races over the 1 mile distance and to be frank my pretty ordinary times, I have always had a special regard for the Mile.  As a youngster long before any real interest in athletics I was aware that Roger Bannister had been the first person to break the 4 minute mile barrier and in the 80's like most people, at least in Britain I was enthralled by the exploits of Coe and Ovett and a little later, Steve Cram.

Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile barrier

The mile, to me, also seems to hold a special place in athletics along with the 100m and the Marathon.  However, unlike the 100m and Marathon the actual running of the mile has been usurped and eroded by its metric cousin the 1500m.

 Mile races are now very few and far between, despite the efforts of people like The British Milers Club, and certainly no longer a championship event.   Recently, however, a campaign has started in America to raise the profile of, and bring back the 1 mile race at  Their aim is to:

"Bring back the Mile as the premier event in the sport.  Increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public"

I for one hope the campaign is successful and not just in the States.


Terry Lonergan said...

How does this sound, Alan?
A Sale Harriers team...october 7 in 1973. 100 x mile we clocked 8 hours
15.2 secs. that's an average of
4:57 per runner. New British record.
at the time. I'll e.mail you the time sheet for interest.
Hope you are on the mend. Terry L.

Alan Dent said...

Impressive - be good to see results sheet -Thanks