More than 90 former British Olympians will reunite this Sunday (24 May) to line up for the Olympians mile at the Bupa Westminster Mile.
The field of famous faces from Olympic Games dating back to 1948 includes five Olympic champions in Robin Cousins (1980 figure skating gold medallist), Denise Lewis (2000 heptathlon gold and 1996 bronze medallist) and three members of the 1988 hockey gold medal winning team in Stephen Batchelor, Robert Clift and Richard Leman.
Six more Olympic medallists will be on the startline, consisting of Steve Cram (1984 1500m silver medallist), Basil Heatley (1964 marathon silver), Michael Howard (1960 fencing silver), Joslyn Hoyte-Smith (1980 4 x 400m relay bronze), Paul Palmer (1996 400m freestyle silver) and Shelley Rudman (2006 skeleton silver).
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. Many of the Olympians will be wearing their official Great Britain kit for the event.
Joslyn Hoyte-Smith, chairman of the Olympians and, together with marathon runner Dave Long (1988 and 1992 Games) the organiser of the event, said: “It’s fantastic that so many of Britain’s great Olympians are coming together to run this mile. This is our first event involving Olympians from so many different sports who have participated in Games going back to 1948.”
The 2015 Bupa Westminster Mile is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Steve Cram’s world mile record of 3:46.32, set in Bislet in 1985, which still stands as the British and European record.
“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,” said Cram.
“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.”
Organised by the London Marathon with Westminster City Council, the programme for Sunday features races for families, adults, female-only (in support of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign), veterans, juniors, elite athletes and senior and junior wheelchair athletes. David Weir and Marcel Hug will attempt to become the first athlete to record a sub-three-minute mile in the men’s wheelchair race.
The Bupa Westminster Mile also marks the start of Bupa's new Feel Great Britain mission to encourage and inspire the nation to enjoy feel great moments.
As well as the races, the Bupa Westminster Mile promises a great day out for all the family. In addition to live music all day, there will be plenty of feel great activities, including yoga master classes, children's activities, wildlife trails and an arts and crafts tent.
The Olympians Mile takes place at 12:48 and the participants will be available for interview prior to the start and after the finish of their event.