2019 London DL Diary: Emsley Carr Mile


The Emsley Carr mile is one of the reasons I went to England. I knew of the history of the mile and knew of then Meet Director Ian Stewart's affection for the event (both he and his brother had won the mile) and desire to rebuild the prestige of the event. The event gives us a link just prior to the first sub 4 minute mile and now, with nearly 5000 performances under 4 minutes.

Stuart Weir writes on the 2019 Emsley Carr mile, a fantastic event!

1163359129.jpgThe battle for the Emsley Carr Mile, photo by British Athletics/ Getty Images

Emsley Carr Mile

The Emsley Carr Mile has so much history and tradition. It was first run in 1953 when Gordon Pirie won it in 4:06.8, in the days when no-one had run a four-minute mile. The race was inaugurated by Sir William Carr in memory of his father Sir Emsley Carr, a former editor of the News of the World newspaper. The event was created to encourage athletes to break the four-minute mile. By the second time the race was run, Roger Bannister had done it.

First Emsley Carr Mile (1953), featuring Gordon Pirie / Wes Santee)

The winners of the race sign the Emsley Carr Trophy, a red Moroccan leather-bound book, now running into a second volume since 1980.

The race has been won by some of the great of middle-distance running, including eleven Olympic champions, Kip Keino, Steve Ovett, Murray Halberg, John Walker, Sebastian Coe, Saïd Aouita, William Tanui, Vénuste Niyongabo, Haile Gebrselassie, Asbel Kiprop, and Hicham El Guerrouj. Other winners have included Filbert Bayi, Derek Ibbotson and Jim Ryun.

Tefera_Samuel-Lausanne19.jpgSamuel Tefera, photo by PhotoRun.net

This year's winner was Samuel Tefera (Ethiopia) in a world lead 3:49.45, also a PR. Filip Ingebrigsten set a new Norwegian record of 3:49.60 but had to accept second place. With brother Jakob getting a Norwegian record in the 5000m the previous night, it was a good weekend for the family.

541ff119eaf57e4644817fb96e118248.jpgFilip Ingebrigtsen, photo Newsbeezer (all rights with Newsbeezer)

In 2017, Jake Wightman, won the race in 3:54.92. This year he was nearly 3 seconds faster in a PR of 3:52.02 for third place. The top six and nine in all ran PRs this year.

Tefera commented: "I am very happy to get the win and to be the quickest in the world this year. It was very strong competition so I knew I had to push all the way to the line". Filip Ingebrigtsen said: "I am happy, it was a fun race, without it being a Diamond League qualifier quality field but it was fun to race. There was a gap which I managed to close and I felt OK coming down the last stretch, I felt Tefera coming past on the bend and he got the win". He added that Jakob getting national record, "I thought I at least have to PR".

Good to see the old traditions preserved and a good race as well.

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