Best Practice

GB Olympians to run Westminster Mile

20 | 5 | 2015

More than 100 Olympians will run their own special race as part of the Bupa Westminster Mile this Sunday. The event, the biggest festival of mile running in the world, will take place in London, starting and finishing on the iconic Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

The Bupa Westminster Mile was launched in 2013 to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and this year’s event will see Olympians run their own race beginning at 1pm, following the mile route around St James’s Park.

Organised by the London Marathon in partnership with Westminster City Council, there are also race categories for all ages and abilities, so everyone can take part.

Denise Lewis, Gold Medal winning Heptathlete from Sydney 2000, said: 

“It is fantastic to see so many esteemed Olympians taking part in this exciting event and we are grateful for the support of the British Olympians Association and the World Olympians Association. The mile has always been a symbolic event for runners and fans alike and we’re all very excited to be getting our own ‘Olympians Mile’ to honour that tradition.”

Olympic middle distance Silver Medallist, Steve Cram, celebrating 30 years since he broke the Mile World Record, said:

“The mile holds a very special place in my heart and it’s wonderful to take part in this race alongside so many of my fellow Olympians on such a special day. 

“I grew up immersed in the history of the mile with heroes like Sir Roger Bannister and those who broke the world record after him. The mile is the perfect distance for any age and any ability and Britain has an incredible tradition in this event. I’m looking forward to seeing thousands of runners, young and old, running the mile on Sunday.”

Steve Cram still holds the British and European mile records.

President of the British Olympians Association and 1980 Olympic bronze medallist, Joslyn Hoyte-Smith, said: 

”We are delighted that so many of our members have responded to take part in the event and we’re very grateful for the support of the World Olympians Association. We may not be as fast as we once were but we all want to join in the celebrations of this wonderful event.

”This is an excellent opportunity for all Olympians to get together as we are members of a unique club and we share so many memories.”

The field of famous faces from Olympic Games dating back to 1948 includes five Olympic champions in Robin Cousins (Moscow 1980 Figure Skating Gold Medallist), Denise Lewis (Sydney 2000 Heptathlon Gold and Atlanta 1996 Bronze Medallist) and three members of the Seoul 1988 Hockey Gold Medal winning team in Stephen Batchelor, Robert Clift and Richard Leman. Six more Olympic Medallists will be on the Start Line: Steve Cram (LA 1984 1500m Silver Medallist), Basil Heatley (Tokyo 1964 Marathon Silver Medallist), Michael Howard (Rome 1960 Fencing Silver Medallist), Joslyn Hoyte-Smith (Moscow 1980 4 x 400m Relay Bronze Medallist), Paul Palmer (Atlanta 1996 400m Freestyle Silver Medallist) and Shelley Rudman (Torino 2006 Skeleton Silver Medallist).

Britain’s oldest living Olympian, 98-year-old Bill Lucas, who ran in the 5000m at the 1948 Games in London, will be the official starter.

The British Olympians Association has over 3,000 Members, some of whom meet regularly for social activities, as well as going into schools and colleges to talk about their experiences at the Olympic Games and the values of Olympism.