Britain’s affinity with the imperial mile distance continued on Sunday (May 29) when David Weir smashed his own wheelchair world record to become the first man to go under three minutes for the historic eight furlongs. Averaging more than 20mph the 'Weir wolf' beat his previous best by six seconds as he enjoyed the perfect race on The Mall in the Vitality Westminster Mile.
Weir adds to Britain’s impressive history as the nation that produced the first women’s sub-five-minute mile by Diane Leather, the first sub-four-minute mile by Sir Roger Bannister and now the first sub-three-minute mile in a wheelchair.
Nick Goolab (Belgrave Harriers, 4:01) broke the course record to take the Sir Roger Bannister Trophy in the same time as runner-up Andrew Butchart (Central, Scotland) as 4,000 runners took part in 35 seeded races. Cardiff’s Tom Marshall was a second behind in a thrilling finish in front of Buckingham Palace.
Goolab was joined by Sarah McDonald (Birchfield) in becoming British mile champion for 2016. McDonald stopped the clock at 4:38 to receive the Diane Leather Trophy after coming from behind to beat Jo Moultrie (Victoria Park, Glasgow, 4:40) and Adelle Tracey (Guidford, 4:40) in another blanket finish.
The junior champions were Scott Halsted (Bracknell, 4:16) and Hollie Parker (Enfield and Haringey, 5:03) and the women’s wheelchair champion was Nikki Emerson (4:10).
The parkrun community was invited to take part in their very own wave with all 450 places taken. Activities in Green Park after the races included live music and yoga, pilates and thai chi to aid recovery. The Westminster Mile was launched in 2013 with 2,000 competitors as a legacy event from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Full details are at the event website.