The Vitality Westminster Mile is the world's biggest timed mile event with races for all ages and abilities. The seventh edition on Sunday 26 May will witness the return of Laura Muir, who ran the inaugural event in 2013, and the UK record of 4:17.06 set by Laura Weightman in New York two years ago could well be in her sights.
Chris O'Hare (Edinburgh, 4:03) and Melissa Courtney (Poole, 4:35) are the defending British one mile champions from last year when 8,048 people made Vitality Westminster Mile a world beater. More than 30,000 have now finished the race that starts on The Mall and loops round St James's Park before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.
Laura Muir was eighth in 4:46 on her Westminster Mile debut but she progressed to a world class 4:18.4 when second to Jenny Simpson in the 5th Avenue Mile in New York in 2016. But it is on the track that the newly qualified veterinary physician is best known as four European indoor titles, two world indoor medals, 1500m gold in the European Championships and two Diamond League titles testify.
Muir is buzzing with excitement about her return to the capital next month: “I’m really excited. It was 2013 that I last competed there and I remember it really clearly. For a race that was six years ago, I remember it really well. It’s so iconic, running on that course and finishing next to Buckingham Palace.”
Sir Mo Farah will be present to join in one of the Families Miles to encourage the participants in one of his favourite events: “This is the best mile in the world,” said Farah. “It will be wonderful to see thousands of kids running or walking with their parents and friends on this amazing route and the excitement as everyone gets a medal after they finish. I’ll be bringing my family along too. See you there!”
The busy programme includes races for adults, schools, The Daily Mile, parkrunners, Special Olympics, British Age Group Road Mile Championships for under 13 to under 20 age groups, wheelchair and elite races. The Olympians Mile brings together athletes who have competed for Great Britain in any sport in any Olympic Games (summer or winter).
Alongside the races the all-day Vitality Wellness Festival takes place in Green Park with free family-friendly activities including coaching sessions in a range of sports, giant Tumblelator, taster classes in activities ranging from boxing to yoga and loads of spot prizes on offer.
Images courtesy Vitality Westminster Mile media