Thirty years ago, Steve Cram shattered the world mile record in the Dream Mile at Oslo’s famous Bislett stadium in July 1985 during an extraordinary 19 day period when he set three new world records. His mile time of 3:46.32 still stands as the British record.
The 2015 Bupa Westminster Mile will commemorate Cram’s great mile world record, which was unbeaten for more than eight years, as runners of all ages – from elites to families with young children – contest a series of mile races in St James’s Park, starting on The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.
The 2015 event is being launched today (Wednesday) at Paddington Recreation Ground on the track where Sir Roger Bannister trained for the first sub-four-minute mile as six teams of London schoolchildren attempt to break Cram’s mile record in a 100m shuttle relay. One team is all-female, supporting Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign.
“The mile is the perfect distance for any age and any ability,” said Cram. “It’s wonderful to see so many young athletes here today inspired by what I did 30 years ago. I’m looking forward to seeing thousands of runners, young and old, running the mile in May.”
“We have set a target of 9,000+ entries for this year to make this the biggest timed mile event in the world,” said Event Director Hugh Brasher. “In support of the This Girl Can campaign, there will be a number of all-female races for girls and women of all abilities, including the opportunity for mums to run with their daughters, sisters, friends and family.”
Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sports, Leisure and Open Spaces, said: “In the three years since its launch, the Bupa Westminster Mile has grown into a sporting event like no other. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned runner or have never set foot on a track – why not give it a try and see where it takes you?”
Saj Arshad, marketing, sales and strategy director for Bupa UK said: "The Bupa Westminster Mile has become renowned for encouraging people of all ages to get active, have fun and feel great, whether they're competing or spectating – and that is what makes it a unique event which Bupa is proud to support."
Entries for the Bupa Westminster Mile are now open. There are races for families, adults, female-only (This Girl Can), veterans, juniors, elite athletes and senior and junior wheelchair users.
The entry fee is £8.00 for entrants aged 18 and over (£7.00 for Westminster residents) and £6.00 for nine to 17-year-olds (£5.00 for Westminster residents). Children under nine are free.
There will be a series of races throughout the day on Sunday 24 May 2015 and runners will be seeded according to predicted finish time, so entrants will be running with people of a similar standard.
The Bupa Westminster Mile will also act as the official British Athletics One-Mile Road Age Group Championships and sponsorship contracts from adidas will be awarded to the winners of the Junior Championship races in the U15, U17 and U20 age-group categories.
For further information and to enter, please visit www.bupawestminstermile.co.uk