ayo falola dream mile

Photo: Graham Smith

Athletics

Ayo Falola Dream Mile 2024

Lee Valley Athletics Centre is the place to be for a packed evening of top-class indoor athletics courtesy of the Ayo Falola Dream Mile.  Spectating is free!

NEWSFLASH: The 2024 AYO Falola Dream Mile is a wrap!

Check out the 2024 mile winners below and email tickets@sportonspec.co.uk with ‘Athletics in London’ in the subject box to receive confirmation of the 2025 event once announced, plus breaking news of other great athletics events taking place in the capital. 

And in the meantime visit our ATHLETICS section here for events coming up in or around London.  Including the London Marathon, Night of the 10k PBs and London Diamond League! 

CONGRATULATIONS to Joseph Tuffin (pictured below and main picture above, No.81) who won the 2024 men’s Ayo Falola Dream Mile in a track record time of 3:59.24.  Tuffin overhauled Tyler Billiard (3:59.33) in the last few metres of a compelling race.  Rory Leonard was third in 3:59.55.

Shaikira King (pictured above right) claimed a classy front-running victory in the women’s dream mile in a time of 4:43.22, just missing out on the UK U17 record.  Oliver Forrest was second in 4:46.55 with Olivia McGhee completing the podium places in a time of 4:47.83.  Zoe Doyle set a new British W50 record of 5:09.98.

On a night of track records there was also a world record!  Claire Elms raced to a time of 5:30.89 in the women’s elite mile B race.  The fastest clocking ever for a mile in the W60 category and an age-grading of 103% for good measure.

The women’s elite 400m race was won in emphatic style by Lina Nielson, who a week later would go on finish second in the Indoor British Championships (behind her sister Laviai) in a PB of 51.95.

Check out the Graham Smith Photography website here for a full gallery of pictures capturing a memorable night of athletics at Lee Valley.

2024 EVENT PREVIEW

It’s a huge year for athletics with the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March followed by the Paris 2024 Olympics this summer.  Get in the mood with tonight’s Ayo Falola Dream Mile meeting, which offers a rare opportunity to watch a host of elite athletes up close and personal as they race over various distances including the iconic mile.

AYO FALOLA DREAM MILE – INTRODUCTION

The Ayo Falola Dream Mile meeting (see below for full background) is a unique opportunity for talented juniors to share the stage with internationals at the Lee Valley venue used as a training base by many Team GB athletes. 

A DJ will be in attendance to get the crowd warmed up ahead of racing from 6.20pm (full timetable of races below).  A series of invitational junior races will kickstart proceedings ahead of the elite action which is headlined by the mile races just before 8pm.  BMC races over 800m and 3000 metres will feature either side of the mile action.  Cash prizes are on offer for breaking the stadium record in the men’s or women’s mile race. 

There will be live commentary in the stadium to complement the action on the track.  In addition, athletics announcer extraordinaire Geoff Wightman (the stadium voice at London 2012 and the 2017 World Para and IAAF World Championships) will be in attendance to introduce the athletes for the men’s elite mile race.  

Spectators will also be treated to some gymnastics entertainment and a martial arts performances from a Whu Shu group.  

Plenty of food and drink options will be available for purchase throughout the evening.  KaLi pop-up cafe is the place to head for rolls, snacks and soft drinks.  And UpTown Cuisine will have some delicious Caribbean food on their menu. 

👀 READ ON for a preview of the key races, timings and how you can be there! 

ayo falola dream mile

ELITE MILE RACES

WOMEN’S MILE @ 7.56pm 

2023 Comeback 5000 winner Kate Axford starts as favourite with a mile PB of 4.37.  Axford will face stiff opposition from some of the best U17 runners in the country including Olivia Forrest who has shined during the cross country season.  Joining Forrest is Shaikira King (who until recently held the U17 record for the mile) and last year’s English Schools junior 1500m champion Olivia McGhee.  British masters M40 record holder Zoe Doyle is also in the line-up.

MEN’S MILE @ 8.04pm Elite men’s mile.  Sub-4 minutes is the target!  A feat achieved less than 10 times indoors on home soil by a British athlete.  The last man to do so was Olympian Elliot Giles who clocked 3:59.71 at the 2019 Ayo Falola meeting.

Zak Seddon is the man to beat tonight.  The 3000m steeplechase expert and Olympian has represented Great Britain on the global stage and has his sights set on Paris 2024 qualification.  Joining Seddon are a host of athletes capable of going sub-4.  These include Dage Minors who is the national 1500m and mile record holder for Bermuda.  

ELITE SUPPORTING RACES

MEN’S 400m @ 7.25pm

Mickey Ayling looks to continue his rise up the ranks after he became the fourth-quickest all-time on the UK U17 list with a 1:49.89 timing in the 800 metres.  

WOMEN’S 400m @ 7.29pm

400m hurdler and GB international Lina Nielsen is the one to beat.  Nielson has a 400m PB (indoors) of 52.80 set just a few days ago in Sweden.  This will be only her second race of the indoor season and first in the UK this winter.  Nielson is currently based in Denmark where she trains with her twin sister Laivia.  U20 international Charlotte Harris and Linford Christie-coached Louise Evans are two rising stars stepping up in level to face Nielson.

3000m @ 8.45pm (W) & 8.57pm (M).

Two BMC (British Milers’ Club) races over 3000m will round off the evening.  The women are looking to go sub-9 minutes and the men are aiming for around a 7.55 clocking. 

TICKETS, TIMINGS & TRAVEL

🎟️ Spectating is free entry on the door.

🕒 Timetable of races:

ayo falola dream mile

🚊🚗 Travel tips: Travel tips: Car parking is free for all visitors.  There are also bus routes and train stations close to the venue.  See this ‘Plan your visit’ guide on the Lee Valley Athletics Centre website.

ABOUT THE AYO FALOLA DREAM MILE

The event is named after the renowned coach and former sprinter Ayo Falola who sadly passed away with cancer in 2015.  Tributes and more on Falola’s life can be viewed on the Athletics Weekly website.

Set up in his memory the ethos of the Ayo Falola Dream Mile meeting is to inspire youngsters by enabling them to compete on the same stage as international athletes. 

The youngsters take centre stage at the beginning of the evening and stay on to watch the senior races.  The idea being it will provide added motivation for them to be involved in the sport.  And if they take a different avenue later in life, they will still have received a good grounding to live a healthy lifestyle as well as a boost to their self-esteem. 

Free massage therapy will be available to the athletes tonight courtesy of Errol Lynch.  Lynch has worked with some top sports men and woman.  These include Premier League footballers, the Jamaican athletics national team and heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua.

👀 For more great spectator sport, including athletics, check out our What’s On page.  And for regular reminders to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action subscribe now to our free newsletter!

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