Sheffield’s festival of miles

Start of one of the eight Festival of Miles races at Woodbourn Road
Start of one of the eight Festival of Miles races at Woodbourn Road
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Athletics club Smiley Paces, Sheffield Hallam University and Accelerate presented the Festival of Miles on Tuesday to celebrate 60 years to the day when Roger Bannister broke four minutes for the first time for the mile.

They said it couldn’t be done, but Bannister ran 3:59.4 that night.

Just to show what an incredible achievement it was, the fastest runner was Tom Bains of Hallamshire Harriers who ran 4:26.3. Proud mum Sue was on hand to watch as she was the co-organiser of the meeting!

Events began with Stephen Atkinson from Steel City Striders winning the draw to see who would wear bib 41, the number worn by Bannister for his record-breaking run.

The eight races went off without a hitch with a number of competitors setting personal bests. The winners of the two young athletes races were particularly impressive, and David Byrne and Tatjana Wilson could have big futures.

Organiser Jenny Chambers even managed to complete her mile in between juggling duties!

Three generations of one family competed.The oldest runner was Rosie Elmore, who was 69, whilst her grandson Eddie made a big impression in completing the Four Minute Challenge, held to encourage people who didnt feel ready for a competitive race.

Daughter Helen, an international fell runner, finished as the fastest woman.

There were runners from all the Sheffield clubs, with competitors from as far afield as Nottingham and Derby. And our photographer Barbara Johnston, Jenny Chambers’ sister, came from Australia!

The organisers thank Sheffield Hallam University for use of Woodbourn Road, and local running store Accelerate who provided teeshirts for the prize draw.