Mile run

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Athletics
Mile run
ArneAndersson&GunderHagg1942.jpg
Gunder Hägg (right) defeats Arne Andersson with a world record for the mile of 4:06.2 min in Gothenburg in 1942.
World records
Men Flag of Morocco.svg Hicham El Guerrouj 3:43.13 (1999)
Women Flag of the Netherlands.svg Sifan Hassan 4:12.33 (2019)

The mile run (1,760  yards [1] or exactly 1,609.344  metres) is a middle-distance foot race.

Contents

The history of the mile run event began in England, where it was used as a distance for gambling races. It survived track and field's switch to metric distances in the 1900s and retained its popularity, with the chase for the four-minute mile in the 1950s a high point for the race.

In spite of the roughly equivalent 1500 metres race, which is often used instead of the mile at the world championships and the NCAAs and is sometimes referred as the foremost middle distance track event in athletics, the mile run is present in all fields of athletics and it remains the only imperial distance for which the IAAF records an official world record. Although the mile does is not featured at any major championship competition, the Wanamaker Mile, Dream Mile, and Bowerman Mile races are among the foremost annual middle-distance races indoors and outdoors, respectively.

The current mile world record holders are Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco with a time of 3:43.13 and Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands with the women's record of 4:12.33.

The record for the fastest mile ever run on any terrain is held by Craig Wheeler, who ran a downhill mile in 1993 in a time of 3:24. [2] Wheeler’s time is not an officially recognized record however due to the downhill grade of the course he ran.

History

Although today we know the mile as 5,280 feet, the distance of the English mile gained its current definition of 1,760 yards through a statute of the Parliament of England in 1593. [3] Thus, the history of the mile run began in England and it initially found usage within the wagered running contests of the 18th and 19th century. Such contests would attract large numbers of spectators and gamblers – so many that the activity became a professional one for its more-established participants. [4]

The mile run was at the heart of the divide between professional and amateur sports in the late 19th century, as running was beginning to gain popularity in the sports world. Separate world record categories were kept for amateurs and professionals, with professional runners providing the faster times. High-profile contests between Britons William Cummings and Walter George brought much publicity to the sport, as did George's races against the American Lon Myers. The mile run was also one of the foremost events at the amateur AAA Championships. [4] Although the spotlight was shining on the running scene, the categories remained distinct but the respective rise in amateurism and decline of the professional sector saw the division become irrelevant in the 20th century. [5]

A statue commemorating Roger Bannister and John Landy's Miracle Mile in 1954. Bannister and Landy.jpg
A statue commemorating Roger Bannister and John Landy's Miracle Mile in 1954.

The mile run continued to be a popular distance in spite of the metrication of track and field and athletics in general, replacing the imperial distance for the metric mile (1500 meters). It was the 1500 metres – sometimes referred to as the metric mile – which was featured on the Olympic athletics programme. The International Amateur Athletics Federation formed in 1912 and confirmed the first officially recognised world record in the mile the following year (4:14.4 minutes run by John Paul Jones). [6] The fact that the mile run was the only imperial distance to retain its official world record status after 1970 reflects its continued popularity in the international (and principally metric) era. [7] Decades later, the distance is ubiquitous, whether run in high school gym classes or used for logging in miles for your average recreational runner.

The top men's middle distance runners continued to compete in the mile run in the first half of the 1900s – Paavo Nurmi, Jack Lovelock and Sydney Wooderson were all world record holders over the distance. [6] In the 1940s, Swedish runners Gunder Hägg and Arne Andersson pushed times into a new territory, as they set three world records each during their rivalry over the decade. [8] The act of completing a sub-four-minute mile sparked further interest in the distance in the 1950s and to this day, as many competitive runners are still chasing the ambitious barrier. Englishman Roger Bannister became the first person to achieve the feat in May 1954 and his effort, conducted with the help of Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, was a key moment in the rise of the use of pacemakers at the top level of the sport – an aspect which is now commonplace at non-championship middle and long-distance races. [9] [10] In fact, pacemakers, if performing effectively, can earn generous sums of money for their performances and accurate pacing duties.

Augustine Choge running the Dream Mile in Oslo in 2008. Augustine Choge Kiprono.jpg
Augustine Choge running the Dream Mile in Oslo in 2008.

The 1960s saw American Jim Ryun, considered one of the world's most decorated middle-distance runners, set world records near the 3:50-minute mark and his achievements popularised interval workout techniques which are still heavily used today, especially for collegiate distance runners. [8] From this period onwards, African runners began to emerge, breaking the largely white, Western dominance of the distance. Kenya's Kip Keino won the mile at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games (which was among the last mile races to be held at a major multi-sport event). [11] Filbert Bayi of Tanzania became Africa's first world record holder over the distance in 1975, although New Zealander John Walker further broke Bayi's record a few months later to become the first man under 3:50 minutes for the event. The 1980s was highlighted by the rivalry between British runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, who improved the record five times between them, including two records at the Oslo Dream Mile race. Noureddine Morceli brought the mile record back into African hands in 1993 and Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj set the current record of 3:43.13, which has stood since 1999. [6]

Mile run contests remain a key feature of many annual track and field meetings, including recreational, high school, and collegiate meets, with long-running series such as the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, Dream Mile at the Bislett Games, the British Emsley Carr Mile, and the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic being among the most prominent. Aside from track races, mile races are also occasionally contested in cross country running and mile runs on the road include the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City. However, in high school and collegiate cross country running, races are often measured in kilometers, with 5K and 8K being the most common.

Records

Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj (left) is the world record holder for the outdoor mile. Carlos ga...jpg
Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj (left) is the world record holder for the outdoor mile.

Outdoor

AreaMen'sWomen's
TimeAthleteTimeAthlete
World 3:43.13Flag of Morocco.svg  Hicham El Guerrouj  (MAR)4:12.33Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Sifan Hassan  (NED)
Continental records
Africa 3:43.13Flag of Morocco.svg  Hicham El Guerrouj  (MAR)4:16.71Flag of Kenya.svg  Faith Kipyegon  (KEN)
Asia 3:47.97Flag of Qatar.svg  Daham Najim Bashir  (QAT)4:17.75Flag of Bahrain.svg  Maryam Yusuf Jamal  (BHR)
Europe 3:46.32Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Steve Cram  (GBR)4:12.33Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Sifan Hassan  (NED)
North, Central America
and Caribbean
3:46.91Flag of the United States.svg  Alan Webb  (USA)4:16.71Flag of the United States.svg  Mary Slaney  (USA)
Oceania 3:48.98Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Craig Mottram  (AUS)4:21.40Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Linden Hall  (AUS)
South America 3:51.05Flag of Brazil.svg  Hudson de Souza  (BRA)4:30.05Flag of Brazil.svg  Soraya Vieira Telles  (BRA)

Indoor

AreaMen'sWomen's
TimeAthleteTimeAthlete
World 3:47.01Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Yomif Kejelcha  (ETH)4:13.31Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Genzebe Dibaba  (ETH)
Continental records
Africa 3:47.01Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Yomif Kejelcha  (ETH)4:13.31Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Genzebe Dibaba  (ETH)
Asia 3:57.05Flag of Qatar.svg  Mohamed Suleiman  (QAT)4:24.71Flag of Bahrain.svg  Maryam Yusuf Jamal  (BHR)
Europe 3:49.78Flag of Ireland.svg  Eamonn Coghlan  (IRL)4:17.14Flag of Romania.svg  Doina Melinte  (ROM)
North, Central America
and Caribbean
3:49.89Flag of the United States.svg  Bernard Lagat  (USA)4:16.85Flag of the United States.svg  Elle Purrier  (USA)
Oceania 3:51.46Flag of New Zealand.svg  Nick Willis  (NZL)4:24.14Flag of New Zealand.svg  Kim Smith  (NZL)
South America 3:56.26Flag of Brazil.svg  Hudson de Souza  (BRA)4:42.24Flag of Venezuela.svg  Valentina Medina  (VEN)

All-time top 25

Steve Cram's former world record set in 1985 still makes him the fourth fastest ever. SteveCram.jpg
Steve Cram's former world record set in 1985 still makes him the fourth fastest ever.
Runners competing in the Women's Mile at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in 2019. Women's Mile at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in 2019.gif
Runners competing in the Women's Mile at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in 2019.

Men (outdoor)

RankTimeAthleteNationDatePlaceRef
13:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 7 July 1999 Golden Gala
23:43.40 Noah Ngeny Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya
33:44.39 Noureddine Morceli Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 5 September 1993 Rieti Meeting
43:46.32 Steve Cram Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 27 July 1985 Bislett Games
53:46.38 Daniel Komen Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya26 August 1997 ISTAF Berlin
63:46.70 Vénuste Niyongabo Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi
73:46.76 Saïd Aouita Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 2 July 1987 Helsinki
83:46.91 Alan Webb Flag of the United States.svg  United States 21 July 2007 Brasschaat
93:47.01i Yomif Kejelcha Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia3 March 2019 Boston [13]
103:47.28 Bernard Lagat Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya29 June 2001 Golden Gala
113:47.32 Ayanleh Souleiman Flag of Djibouti.svg Djibouti31 May 2014 Eugene [14]
123:47.33 Sebastian Coe Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 28 August 1981 Brussels
133:47.65 Laban Rotich Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya4 July 1997 Oslo
143:47.69 Steve Scott Flag of the United States.svg  United States 7 July 1982 Oslo
153:47.79 José Luis González Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 27 July 1985 Oslo
163:47.88 John Kibowen Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya4 July 1997 Oslo
3:47.88 Silas Kiplagat Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya31 May 2014 Eugene
183:47.94 William Chirchir Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya28 July 2000 Oslo
193:47.97 Dahame Najem Bashir Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 29 July 2005 Oslo
203:48.17 Paul Korir Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya8 August 2003 London
213:48.23 Ali Saidi-Sief Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 13 July 2001 Oslo
223:48.28 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya10 June 2007 Eugene
233:48.38 Andrés Manuel Díaz Flag of Spain.svg Spain29 June 2001 Rome
243:48.40 Steve Ovett Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain26 August 1981 Koblenz
William Kemei Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya21 August 1992 Berlin

Notes

Below is a list of all other times superior to 3:48.00:

  • Hicham El Guerrouj also ran 3:44.60 (1998), 3:44.90 (1997), 3:44.95 (2001),3:45.64 (1997), 3:45.96 (2000), 3:46.24 (2000), 3:47.10 (1999) and 3:47.91 (2000).
  • Noah Ngeny also ran 3:47.67 (2000)
  • Noureddine Morceli also ran 3:45.19 (1995), 3:46.78 (1993), 3:47.30 (1993), 3:47.78 (1993)
  • Daniel Komen also ran 3:47.85 (1997)
  • Saïd Aouita also ran 3:46.92 (1985)

Women (outdoor)

Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan is the 12th fastest woman over the mile. Sonia osullivan 2000-2.jpg
Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan is the 12th fastest woman over the mile.
RankTimeAthleteNationDatePlaceRef
14:12.33 Sifan Hassan Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands12 July 2019Monaco [16]
24:12.56 Svetlana Masterkova Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 14 August 1996 Zürich
34:13.31 i Genzebe Dibaba Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia17 February 2016 Stockholm [17]
44:15.61 Paula Ivan Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 10 July 1989 Nice
54:15.8 Natalya Artyomova Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 5 August 1984 Leningrad
64:16.14 Gudaf Tsegay Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia22 July 2018London [18]
74:16.15 Hellen Obiri Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya22 July 2018London [18]
84:16.71 Mary Slaney Flag of the United States.svg  United States 21 August 1985 Zürich
4:16.71 Faith Kipyegon Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 11 September 2015 Brussels [19]
104:16.85 i Elle Purrier Flag of the United States.svg United States8 February 2020New York City [20]
114:17.14 i Doina Melinte Flag of Romania.svg Romania9 February 1990 East Rutherford
124:17.25 Sonia O'Sullivan Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 22 July 1994 Oslo
134:17.26 i Konstanze Klosterhalfen Flag of Germany.svg Germany8 February 2020New York City [21]
144:17.30 Jenny Simpson Flag of the United States.svg United States22 July 2018London [18]
154:17.33 Maricica Puica Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 21 August 1985 Zürich
164:17.57 Zola Budd Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 21 August 1985 Zürich
174:17.60 Laura Weightman Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain12 July 2019Monaco [22]
184:17.75 Maryam Yusuf Jamal Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 14 September 2007 Brussels
194:17.87 Gabriela DeBues-Stafford Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada12 July 2019Monaco [23]
204:17.88 i Jemma Reekie Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain8 February 2020New York City [24]
214:18.03 Laura Muir Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain9 July 2017London [25]
224:18.23 Gelete Burka Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 7 September 2008 Rieti Meeting
234:18.42 Rababe Arafi Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco12 July 2019Monaco [26]
244:18.58 Axumawit Embaye Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia12 July 2019Monaco
254:18.65 Winnie Nanyondo Flag of Uganda.svg Uganda12 July 2019Monaco [28]

Notes

Below is a list of other times superior to 4:18.65:

Men (indoor)

RankTimeAthleteNationDatePlaceRef
13:47.01 Yomif Kejelcha Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [13]
23:48.45 Hicham El Guerrouj Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 12 February 1997 Indoor Flanders Meeting
33:49.44 Edward Cheserek Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya9 February 2018 David Hemery Valentine Invitational [30]
43:49.78 Eamonn Coghlan Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 27 February 1983 Meadowlands Arena
53:49.89 Bernard Lagat Flag of the United States.svg  United States 11 February 2005 Randal Tyson Track Center
63:49.98 Johnny Gregorek Flag of the United States.svg United States3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [13]
73:50.39 Cooper Teare Flag of the United States.svg United States12 February 2021 Randal Tyson Track Center [31]
83:50.55 Cole Hocker Flag of the United States.svg United States12 February 2021 Randal Tyson Track Center [32]
93:50.63 Matthew Centrowitz Flag of the United States.svg  United States 20 February 2016 Fort Washington Avenue Armory
103:50.70 Noureddine Morceli Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 20 February 1993 Arena Birmingham
113:50.92 Galen Rupp Flag of the United States.svg  United States 26 January 2013 Boston University Track and Tennis Center
123:50.94 Marcus O'Sullivan Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 13 February 1988 Meadowlands Arena
Sam Prakel Flag of the United States.svg United States3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [33]
143:51.06 Nick Willis Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 20 February 2016 Millrose Games
153:51.20 Ray Flynn Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 27 February 1983 Meadowlands Arena
163:51.21 Lopez Lomong Flag of the United States.svg United States19 February 2013 Fort Washington Avenue Armory
173:51.26 Henry Wynne Flag of the United States.svg United States3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [33]
183:51.8 h Steve Scott Flag of the United States.svg United States20 February 1981San Diego
19
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Notes

Below is a list of other times superior to 3:48.46:

Women (indoor)

RankTimeAthleteNationDatePlaceRef
14:13.31 Genzebe Dibaba Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 17 February 2016 Globen Galan
24:16.85 Elle Purrier Flag of the United States.svg United States8 February 2020 Millrose Games [35]
34:17.14 Doina Melinte Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 9 February 1990 Meadowlands Arena
44:17.26 Konstanze Klosterhalfen Flag of Germany.svg Germany8 February 2020 Millrose Games [36]
54:17.88 Jemma Reekie Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain8 February 2020 Millrose Games [37]
64:18.75 Laura Muir Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain16 February 2019 Arena Birmingham [38]
74:18.99 Paula Ivan Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 10 February 1989 Meadowlands Arena
84:19.73 Gabriela DeBues-Stafford Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada 8 February 2020 Millrose Games [39]
94:19.89 Sifan Hassan Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 11 February 2017 Millrose Games
104:20.5 Mary Decker-Tabb Flag of the United States.svg  United States 19 February 1982 San Diego Sports Arena
114:21.79 Regina Jacobs Flag of the United States.svg  United States 8 January 2000 New Balance Mile Challenge
124:22.66 Shannon Rowbury Flag of the United States.svg  United States 31 January 2015 Wake Forest Invitational
134:22.86 Colleen Quigley Flag of the United States.svg United States9 February 2019 Fort Washington Avenue Armory [40]
144:22.93 Kate Grace Flag of the United States.svg  United States 11 February 2017 Millrose Games
154:23.00 Carla Sacramento Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 24 February 2002 Meeting Pas de Calais
164:23.19 Gabriela Szabo Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 4 February 2001 Sparkassen Cup
174:23.33 Kutre Dulecha Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia4 February 2001 Sparkassen Cup
184:23.49 Olga Komyagina Flag of Russia.svg Russia27 January 2008Moscow
194:23.50 Axumawit Embaye Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia21 February 2015 Arena Birmingham
20
21
22
23
24
25

Youth age records

Key:  Incomplete information

Boys

AgeTimeAthleteNationBirthdateDatePlaceRef
56:33.3Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 200723 July 2013 Santa Rosa
65:44.4Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 20075 August 2014 Santa Rosa
75:20.3Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 20079 June 2015 Santa Rosa
85:12.1Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 20079 August 2016 Santa Rosa
95:02.5Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 200727 June 2017 Santa Rosa
104:46.6Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 200724 July 2018 Santa Rosa
114:43.9Daniel SkanderaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 2 November 20071 November 2019 Oakland
124:36.80Jeremy KainFlag of the United States.svg  United States 18 August 200413 July 2017 Los Gatos
134:26.49James BurkeFlag of the United States.svg  United States 5 August 199721 May 2011 Schenectady
144:12.77Marcus ReillyFlag of the United States.svg  United States 13 November 20057 November 2020 Fairhaven
154:08.8Jim ArriolaFlag of the United States.svg  United States 10 June 195822 April 1972 Long Beach
163:56.29 Jakob Ingebrigtsen Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 19 September 200015 June 2017 Oslo [41]
3:54.63Victor TorresFlag of the United States.svg  United States 19 April 198914 June 2005 New York
173:50.90 Hamza Driouch Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 16 November 19947 June 2012 Oslo [42]
183:49.77 Caleb Ndiku Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 9 October 19924 June 2011 Eugene [43]
193:49.29 William Biwott Tanui Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 5 March 19903 July 2009 Oslo [44]

Girls

AgeTimeAthleteNationBirthdateDatePlaceRef
66:36.0Celine StruijvéFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 10 November 201217 September 2019 Epe
76:05.1Kristina WilsonFlag of the United States.svg  United States 5 December 19635 June 1971
85:43.5Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 200510 December 2013 Sydney
95:18.74Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 200517 January 2015 Wollongong
105:04.19Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 200516 January 2016 Wollongong
114:56.08Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 20054 March 2017 Sydney
124:46.57Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 200513 January 2018 Wollongong
134:44.73Imogen StewartFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 27 July 200522 December 2018 Sydney
144:40.1 i Mary Decker Flag of the United States.svg  United States 4 August 195816 March 1973 Richmond
154:36.0Gunvor HildeFlag of Norway.svg  Norway 13 November 196314 September 1979 London
164:28.25i Mary Cain Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3 May 199616 February 2013 New York
174:24.11i Mary Cain Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3 May 199624 January 2014 Boston
184:24.10i Kalkidan Gezahegne Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 8 May 199120 February 2010 Birmingham
194:17.57 Zola Budd Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 26 May 196621 August 1985 Zurich

Season's bests

See also

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References

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