The spirit of unity through running was epitomised by joint Southwark parkrun run directors Ellie Awford and Mike Krotosky on Sunday (28 May), who set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest mile run while holding hands at Vitality Westminster Mile. There were 36 races to cater for the record entry of more than 8,500 smiling milers on The Mall.
Ellie and Mike, who met at Southwark parkrun, trained together for their successful record attempt, sprinting across the line together in 6:22 before receiving their world record certificate from Guinness World Record adjudicator Lucia Sinigagliesi.
“We have been doing some training but it’s slightly embarrassing to run in public holding hands so we’ve been tactical about when and where we’ve done it,” said Mike. “We wait until it gets quiet and then hold hands,” added Ellie. “It was quite hot today, and quite tough, but we did way better than expected. To run under 6:30 is a dream.”
This was not the only record set as master athlete Anthony Whiteman (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) shook up the elite men's field to finish eighth in an M45 world best (4:07.4). Nick Goolab (Belgrave Harriers, 4:03.5) became the first man ever to retain the British men’s one-mile road race title in front of Buckingham Palace on a day of remembrance and support for the victims of last weekend’s attack in Manchester.
Robbie Fitzgibbon (Brighton Phoenix) and Phil Sesemann (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers) shared 4:04.2 and had to be separated by the judges for the runners-up spots.
The elite women's mile was an even closer race as international 800m runner Adelle Tracey (Guildford & Godalming, 4:34.8) sprinted past defending champion Sarah McDonald (Birchfield Harriers, 4:35.0) with Rosie Clarke (Epsom & Ewell, 4:35.7) taking bronze.
Former mile world record-holder Lord Seb Coe was in action in the Olympians Mile, running a tidy M60 time of exactly 6:00 for eighth behind winner Constantine Louloudis (5:05), the Rio 2016 Olympic rowing champion who was well inside Steve Cram’s Olympians record. Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers, 6:00) won the women's Olympians Mile.
Full results are available on our race listings page.
Image courtesy Vitality Westminster Mile media