Two weeks ago I read the 60th anniversary of what was described as the Everest of athletics was almost upon us. I was inspired to do something to celebrate and set myself the target of finding 59 other runners to run a mile in tribute. I was stunned at the response!
Twitter has been a kind medium for me and my running (I’ve had charity donations from absolute strangers, won trainers & other running gear and “met” some fantastically interesting runners) but I still wasn’t sure I would manage to find 59 people willing to share a little about themselves and commit to running a single mile on Tuesday 6th May.
Well, my doubts were unfounded and eventually I had 100 people tell me they were going to join my tribute to Bannister’s 4 minute mile and run a mile wherever they were. I didn’t get confirmations back from everyone but 69 people confirmed they had run their mile. It’s strange to think how pleased I felt at “gathering” a bunch of strangers to run a mile!
So I’ll use the rest of this blog to share some of the stories and stats that came out of this off-the-cuff tribute.
Runners from far and wide turned this little idea into a global tribute!
Runners came from far and wide came to make it a truly global tribute. As you’d expect, most of the participants were in the UK, stretching from Aberdeen (@tattyboj & @lollybee37) to Kent (@Kyrrie_Rostek) and including a fantastic tribute at the Iffley Road track itself from @cakeofgoodhope.
Representation also came from Australia (@NickiLetts & @MrsBrill), Japan (@InstantPash), Germany (@SimonDrabble), Canada (@FayeHennem & @solongnthx) and the USA (@runrenerun & @MDPierre357).
Holiday runs were also completed in Portugal (@amerbob) and Spain (@TrevB1 near Alicante, myself & @MrsTWymer in Mallorca).
The beauty of the tribute was that it was open to all, no matter how fast or slow!
Whilst a landmark time had inspired the tribute, the beauty was runners of all abilities and experiences wanted to join in. From the “speedy sub-sixers” to the “however long it takes”, the over-riding sentiment seemed to be the realisation of just how fast Sir Roger had to run to secure his record time.
As a self-confessed spreadsheet monkey I couldn’t resist adding some charts and stats to this post (although I’ve rationed myself considerably!):
Not everyone was interested in time, instead focusing on completing a mile – and that’s fine by me – I’ve shown them in the stats as they’re just as much part of the tribute as anyone else.
I will offer some glory to our fastest efforts though:
The fastest individual effort came from @mikew30 with a 5:17. So keen was he to set a good time he ran two separate miles on Tuesday!
In an attempt to get closer to the heralded 4 minute mile, @1reevsie and his clubmates at Petts Wood Runners (@PWRunners) combined forces in a series of relays. They came agonisingly close to a sub 4 minute mile, with the best effort recorded as 4:04.9! Great work and some photos of their relays can be found here on Flickr!
There were a couple of other great team efforts with @Pete_Luxford and 7 other Stotfold Runners taking it in 100m turns to secure a 4:50 mile and the new beginners running group at South Leeds Community Radio (@runonairSLCR) started their running careers by using their first ever session to cover a mile in 13:46.
A big thanks also needs to go to @RunSmartLeyland who managed to push us over the line when I was thinking that we might not make the target of 60 completed miles!
Last but not least, I need to mention another individual who ran their mile. Now I must admit that I hadn’t expected him to get involved so when he said “yes” I was elated, as it meant we could say we had all run a mile with… Roger Bannister!
It probably doesn’t need saying but just in case anyone accuses me of being misleading – this was not Sir Roger Bannister, but his namesake: an Assistant Chief Constable for Leicestershire Police. And who says that policemen have no sense of fun?
A mile is a surprisingly long way when you’re running your heart out!
Having covered many miles in training for the various 10k and half marathon races I’ve run I thought a mile would be easy. How wrong could I be?! I doff my hat to anyone covering the distance in a sub 4 time. A mile is a surprisingly long way when you’re running your heart out!
I had an amazing time running my mile and it sounds as though everyone enjoyed participating no matter where they ran, or how fast they covered the mile. Sir Roger inspired me to run a mile and I am so pleased to have inspired so many of you to #runyourmile in tribute.
Here’s the photo’s that were tweeted with the hashtag #runyourmile from all of you. Thanks for getting involved. I guess there’s just one question left to ask:
Did you #runyourmile and forget to let me know? Have you written your on blog about your own #runyourmile experience? Are their other stats you’d like to know? Feel free to add updates, links and questions in your comments.