Over the years there have been many remarkable Dream Mile races and you don’t have to think back too far to be remember some of them.
The British trio of Seb Coe , Steve Ovett and Steve Cram, all shattering the mile world record in the Bislett stadium:
That evening in 1979 when Seb Coe lead the first ten athletes across the finish line and each of these competitors all went under 4 minutes for the mile.
The Dream Mile is such an important fixture in the IAAF’s annual calendar, as so many federations’ national one mile records have been established in this most famous race. The following countries had national mile records established in the Dream Mile: Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Djibouti, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, and USA, to name a few.
So many years, so many great names, so many significant races!
For this year’s 50th Anniversary Dream Mile, Oslo’s Meeting Director Steinar Hoen has assembled perhaps the deepest and most highly credentialed field ever seen at the Bislett Stadium. Two Olympic champions, seven athletes who have run under 3:50 for the mile are entered, and no fewer than seven competitors who are their country’s national record-holder at mile or 1500m.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop is the most highly credentialed mile / 1500m runner of this era. He has been Olympic champion and twice world champion plus is a three-time winner of the Dream Mile. He returns to Oslo seeking a really fast time and to re-establish himself as the world no. 1 after a couple of rare defeats in last year’s Diamond League.
Another Olympic champion will also take his place in this quality field. Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi was a dominant winner of the 1500m at the London Olympics and will be keen to not only win this prestigious race but establish a personal best of under 3:50 for the mile. Interestingly, Makhloufi is a previous winner in Bislett stadium. In 2012 (his Olympic year) he emphatically won the 1500m event in the early section of the programme and gave spectators a real indication of what was to follow later that year in London.
The world no. 1 from last season was undoubtedly Silas Kiplagat of Kenya. He led the world at 1500m with a best of 3:27.64 and boasts a great mile of 3:47.88, which is the third fastest amongst all entrants in the race.
The honour of the fastest man in the field goes to the US veteran Bernard Lagat who has a best time of 3:27.28. Whilst he may not achieve a time of that quality in 2015, Lagat is very serious about smashing the World Masters’ record for the mile and is aiming to be close to 3:50 for the four laps.
Of course all eyes in the stadium will be focused upon Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen, who last season rewrote the Norwegian record book at both mile and 1500m. A silver medallist from last year’s European Championships, Ingebrigtsen will be chasing another Norwegian record and will not be satisfied with anything slower than 3:50! The patriotic and knowledgeable Bislett crowd will spur him on every step of the mile race.
Another athlete to be feared in this race is Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti. This classical runner who likes to run on the pace in big races has won the last two Dream Miles and would like to make it three in a row in 2015. He has a personal best of 3:47.28 for the distance and will be in contention for the majority of the journey.
Kenya will have two further contenders, the surprising junior from last season Ronald Kwemoi and the Commonwealth Champion James Magut. Both can have impact in a race of this nature and their presence on the start list is a testament to how this most traditional race is regarded by athletes and fans alike.
Athletes entered in the ExxonMobil 50th Anniversary Dream Mile who have run under 3:50: