There was a time that the Mile captured the public imagination and became the true measure of athletic ability. Sixty years ago, Sir Roger Bannister did the seemingly impossible by breaking the four minute barrier.

But the move to metric measurements and the popularity of the 1500m along with the narrowing margins by which people were able to improve on the world record for the Mile meant that it started falling out of favour. It became a very niche distance only appearing in the racing calendar once in a while.

But it didn’t disappear altogether and in fact mile races out of a stadium and on the roads continued to be held. The most famous of these is the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York. This was first held on September 26, 1981 and now over 5,000 runners take part every year, from Olympians to complete novices.

The City of London Mile

In recent years the Mile has come to London and we were delighted to get involved in a new race started by the team at Run-Fast in the Square Mile. The City of London Mile, starting and finishing in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, was unique in a number of aspects – closing the roads in one of the busiest cities in the world is never an easy task and that is exactly what the Run-Fast team managed to do. And the race was free to enter. That was thanks to the generous support of Amba Hotels, the headline sponsor, who along with Mizuno and High5 Sports Nutrition, meant that every aspect of the race was optimised.

Race Director Tom Snow at the launch event

The Run-Fast team had all of the organisation of the event in hand and alongside them freestak worked on promoting the race with two aims: get as many people to sign-up as possible: and reach journalists and influencers so that they could take part in the race and tell their audiences about it.

We used traditional PR, helped to organise a launch event at one of Amba’s hotels, set up a social media based competition for one lucky runner to win a place at the race and Mizuno kit and we contacted our network of influencers to help spread the word about the race.

In the end the race was a huge success from every aspect and freestak co-owner Simon even managed to pace the competition winner around the mile to finish in a new personal best time for her. Job well done!

The Run-Fast and freestak are now planning for the 2015 race and with all of the keys ingredients in place, this will be a race that will certainly play a significant role in the revival of the Mile.


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