Laura Muir, David Weir and Chris O’Hare are the star attractions at the Vitality Westminster Mile elite races taking place on the iconic course in the heart of central London. Spectating is free.
Starting on the famous red tarmac of The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace today’s Vitality Westminster Mile cannot fail to inspire both athletes and spectators alike. Sir Mo Farah will start the family races from 10am to 1pm ahead of the Olympians Mile at 1.55pm before the current day stars get down to business.
In the men’s wheelchair race at 2.30pm all eyes will be on David Weir. The six-time Paralympic champion – and famously part of the magical ‘Thriller Thursday’ at London 2012 – has been racing competitively on the streets of the capital since he made his debut in the London Marathon in 2000 a race he has won eight times. ‘The Weirwolf’ is showing no signs of slowing down with the Tokyo Olympics in his sights.
Multiple European champion Laura Muir leads the entrants in a star-studded field in the elite women’s race at 2.40pm. Muir is on a mission for World Championship glory later this summer in Doha but there’s no guarantee of a win today with defending champion Melissa Courtney, the Commonwealth Games 1500m bronze medallist, just one of a host of elite women aiming to finish top of the podium. Also out to impress ahead of a big summer of athletics is 2017 Westminster Mile champion Adelle Tracey. European Indoor Championships 800m gold medallist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke makes her debut in the event while Sarah McDonald, who won the Vitality Westminster Mile in 2016 and was runner-up a year later, returns to the streets of central London.
In the elite men’s race at 2.50pm defending champion Chris O’Hare is hoping to become the first man in the history of the Westminster Mile to break the four-minute barrier. O’Hare, who won a bronze medal over 3000m at the European Indoor Championships in March, is aiming to break the mark and win the Bannister Trophy just weeks after the 65th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s first sub-four minute mile.
O’Hare will face competition from rising star Jake Heyward, who was fourth in the 1500m at last year’s World Junior Championships, and three-time British 800m champion Elliot Giles. Jamie Webb, who won a bronze medal in the 800m at this year’s European Indoor Championships, and the current course record holder Nick Goolab, who ran 4:01 to win in 2016, will also be on the start line.
There are plenty of great vantage points for spectators. The course map can be viewed (left/above) and also printed off. The route begins in the Mall, heads towards Admiralty Arch before turning into Horse Guards Road, following the perimeter of St James’s Park. The course then turns right again into Birdcage Walk, taking you past Wellington Barracks before the final right turn into Spur Road and the Finish Line in front of Buckingham Palace.
In addition to the racing the Vitality Wellness Festival in Green Park – which is completely free – will be open between 9am and 4pm with interviews, athlete meet & greets and Q&As taking place on the main stage. Meanwhile a whole range of family-friendly activities, coaching and taster sessions will be available. Be sure to check out The Tumbleator if you want to check your pace against the elites while a Hub and Studio will be offering a BMI health check. The popular pedal-powered smoothie bikes will be in operation alongside a variety of fitness classes provided by Virgin Active while the Wellness Zone is the place to be to energise the body and mind at yoga and pilates classes for the whole family. There’s also a Kid’s Zine with face painting, crafts and games along with a food court.
Full race timetable:
10am-1pm: Sir Mo Farah will be starting and running with the family race waves that include adults, kids and mascots.
12.10pm: Former cricketer Andrew Strauss will be running with the England World Cup squad in the inaugural Ruth Strauss Foundation Mile in memory of his wife Ruth.
1.55pm: A record number of former British Olympians will try to squeeze into their old kit to race the Olympians Mile.
2.30pm: Senior Men’s Wheelchair race featuring David Weir.
2.40pm: Elite Women’s Race.
2.50pm: Elite Men’s Race.
Spectating is free.
Travel tips: Do not attempt to drive to the event as many roads in the area will be closed to traffic. The nearest tube stations are Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus, St James’s Park, Charing Cross and Victoria which are all within walking distance.