Open main menu

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

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.
Men's records
WorldMorocco Hicham El Guerrouj 3:43.13 (1999)
Women's records
WorldNetherlands Sifan Hassan 4:12.33 (2019)

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, 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 not feature 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 Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3:43.13 and Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands with the women's record of 4:12.33.

HistoryEdit

The distance of the English mile gained its current definition of 1,760 yards through a statute of the Parliament of England in 1593.[2] 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.[3]

The mile run was at the heart of the divide between professional and amateur sports in the late 19th century. 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.[3] 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.[4]

 
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. 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 ratified the first officially recognised world record in the mile the following year (4:14.4 minutes run by John Paul Jones).[5] 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.[6]

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.[5] 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.[7] The act of completing a sub-four-minute mile sparked further interest in the distance in the 1950s. 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.[8][9]

 
Augustine Choge running the Dream Mile in Oslo in 2008.

The 1960s saw American Jim Ryun set world records near the 3:50-minute mark and his achievements popularised interval workout techniques.[7] 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).[10] Filbert Bayi of Tanzania became Africa's first world record holder over the distance in 1975, although New Zealander John Walker broke the record further 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.[5]

Mile run contests remain a key feature of many annual track and field meetings, 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

RecordsEdit

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

OutdoorEdit

Area Men's Women's
Time Athlete Time Athlete
World 3:43.13   Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 4:12.33   Sifan Hassan (NED)
Continental records
Africa 3:43.13   Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 4:16.71   Faith Kipyegon (KEN)
Asia 3:47.97   Daham Najim Bashir (QAT) 4:17.75   Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR)
Europe 3:46.32   Steve Cram (GBR) 4:12.33   Sifan Hassan (NED)
North, Central America
and Caribbean
3:46.91   Alan Webb (USA) 4:16.71   Mary Slaney (USA)
Oceania 3:48.98   Craig Mottram (AUS) 4:21.40   Linden Hall (AUS)
South America 3:51.05   Hudson de Souza (BRA) 4:30.05   Soraya Vieira Telles (BRA)

IndoorEdit

Area Men's Women's
Time Athlete Time Athlete
World 3:47.01   Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 4:13.31   Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)
Continental records
Africa 3:47.01   Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 4:13.31   Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)
Asia 3:57.05   Mohamed Suleiman (QAT) 4:24.71   Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR)
Europe 3:49.78   Eamonn Coghlan (IRL) 4:17.14   Doina Melinte (ROM)
North, Central America
and Caribbean
3:49.89   Bernard Lagat (USA) 4:20.5   Mary Slaney (USA)
Oceania 3:51.46   Nick Willis (NZL) 4:24.14   Kim Smith (NZL)
South America 3:56.26   Hudson de Souza (BRA) 4:42.24   Valentina Medina (VEN)

All-time top 25Edit

 
Steve Cram's former world record set in 1985 still makes him the fourth fastest ever.
  • i = indoor performance
  • ht = hand timing
 
Runners competing in the Women's Mile at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in 2019.

MenEdit

  • Correct as of March 2019.[11]
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Place Ref
1 3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj   Morocco 7 July 1999 Golden Gala
2 3:43.40 Noah Ngeny   Kenya
3 3:44.39 Noureddine Morceli   Algeria 5 September 1993 Rieti Meeting
4 3:46.32 Steve Cram   Great Britain 27 July 1985 Bislett Games
5 3:46.38 Daniel Komen   Kenya 28 August 1998 ISTAF Berlin
6 3:46.70 Vénuste Niyongabo   Burundi
7 3:46.76 Saïd Aouita   Morocco 2 July 1987 Helsinki
8 3:46.91 Alan Webb   United States 21 July 2007 Brasschaat
9 3:47.01i Yomif Kejelcha   Ethiopia 3 March 2019 Boston [12]
10 3:47.28 Bernard Lagat   Kenya 29 June 2001 Golden Gala
11 3:47.32 Ayanleh Souleiman   Djibouti 31 May 2014 Eugene [13]
12 3:47.33 Sebastian Coe   Great Britain 28 August 1981 Brussels
13 3:47.65 Laban Rotich   Kenya 4 July 1997 Oslo
14 3:47.69 Steve Scott   United States 7 July 1982 Oslo
15 3:47.79 José Luis González   Spain 27 July 1985 Oslo
16 3:47.88 John Kibowen   Kenya 4 July 1997 Oslo
3:47.88 Silas Kiplagat   Kenya 31 May 2014 Eugene
18 3:47.94 William Chirchir   Kenya 28 July 2000 Oslo
19 3:47.97 Dahame Najem Bashir   Qatar 29 July 2005 Oslo
20 3:48.17 Paul Korir   Kenya 8 August 2003 London
21 3:48.23 Ali Saidi-Sief   Algeria 13 July 2001 Oslo
22 3:48.28 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen   Kenya 10 June 2007 Eugene
23 3:48.38 Andrés Manuel Díaz   Spain 29 June 2001 Rome
24 3:48.40 Steve Ovett   Great Britain 26 August 1981 Koblenz
William Kemei   Kenya 21 August 1992 Berlin

NotesEdit

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)

WomenEdit

  • Correct as of July 2019.[14]
 
Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan is the 11th fastest woman over the mile.
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Place Ref
1 4:12.33 Sifan Hassan   Netherlands 12 July 2019 Monaco [15]
2 4:12.56 Svetlana Masterkova   Russia 14 August 1996 Zürich
3 4:13.31 i Genzebe Dibaba   Ethiopia 17 February 2016 Stockholm [16]
4 4:15.61 Paula Ivan   Romania 10 July 1989 Nice
5 4:15.8 Natalya Artyomova   Soviet Union 5 August 1984 Leningrad
6 4:16.14 Gudaf Tsegay   Ethiopia 22 July 2018 London [17]
7 4:16.15 Hellen Obiri   Kenya 22 July 2018 London [17]
8 4:16.71 Mary Slaney   United States 21 August 1985 Zürich
4:16.71 Faith Kipyegon   Kenya 11 September 2015 Brussels [18]
10 4:17.14 i Doina Melinte   Romania 9 February 1990 East Rutherford
11 4:17.25 Sonia O'Sullivan   Ireland 22 July 1994 Oslo
12 4:17.30 Jenny Simpson   United States 22 July 2018 London [17]
13 4:17.33 Maricica Puica   Romania 21 August 1985 Zürich
14 4:17.57 Zola Budd   Great Britain 21 August 1985 Zürich
15 4:17.60 Laura Weightman   Great Britain 12 July 2019 Monaco [19]
16 4:17.75 Maryam Yusuf Jamal   Bahrain 14 September 2007 Brussels
17 4:17.87 Gabriela DeBues-Stafford   Canada 12 July 2019 Monaco [20]
18 4:18.03 Laura Muir   Great Britain 9 July 2017 London [21]
19 4:18.23 Gelete Burka   Ethiopia 7 September 2008 Rieti Meeting
20 4:18.42 Rababe Arafi   Morocco 12 July 2019 Monaco [22]
21 4:18.58 Axumawit Embaye   Ethiopia 12 July 2019 Monaco
22 4:18.65 Winnie Nanyondo   Uganda 12 July 2019 Monaco [24]
23 4:19.03 Ciara Mageean   Ireland 12 July 2019 Monaco [25]
24 4:19.30 Gabriela Szabo   Romania 1 July 1998 Bellinzona
25 4:19.41 Kirsty McDermott   Great Britain 27 July 1985 Oslo

NotesEdit

Below is a list of other times superior to 4:19.41:

All-time top 16, indoorEdit

MenEdit

  • Correct as of March 2019.[26]
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Place Ref
1 3:47.01 Yomif Kejelcha   Ethiopia 3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [12]
2 3:48.45 Hicham El Guerrouj   Morocco 12 February 1997 Indoor Flanders Meeting
3 3:49.44 Edward Cheserek   Kenya 9 February 2018 David Hemery Valentine Invitational [27]
4 3:49.78 Eamonn Coghlan   Ireland 27 February 1983 Meadowlands Arena
5 3:49.89 Bernard Lagat   United States 11 February 2005 Randal Tyson Track Center
6 3:49.98 Johnny Gregorek   United States 3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [12]
7 3:50.63 Matthew Centrowitz   United States 20 February 2016 Fort Washington Avenue Armory
8 3:50.70 Noureddine Morceli   Algeria 20 February 1993 Arena Birmingham
9 3:50.92 Galen Rupp   United States 26 January 2013 Boston University Track and Tennis Center
10 3:50.94 Marcus O'Sullivan   Ireland 13 February 1988 Meadowlands Arena
Sam Prakel   United States 3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [28]
12 3:51.06 Nick Willis   New Zealand 20 February 2016 Millrose Games
13 3:51.20 Ray Flynn   Ireland 27 February 1983 Meadowlands Arena
14 3:51.21 Lopez Lomong   United States 19 February 2013 Fort Washington Avenue Armory
15 3:51.26 Henry Wynne   United States 3 March 2019 Boston University Track and Tennis Center [28]
16 3:51.8 (ht) Steve Scott   United States 20 February 1981 San Diego

NotesEdit

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

WomenEdit

  • Correct as of February 2019.[29]
Rank Time Athlete Nation Date Place Ref
1 4:13.31 Genzebe Dibaba   Ethiopia 17 February 2016 Globen Galan
2 4:17.14 Doina Melinte   Romania 9 February 1990 Meadowlands Arena
3 4:18.75 Laura Muir   Great Britain 16 February 2019 Arena Birmingham [30]
4 4:18.99 Paula Ivan   Romania 10 February 1989 Meadowlands Arena
5 4:19.89 Sifan Hassan   Netherlands 11 February 2017 Millrose Games
6 4:19.98 Konstanze Klosterhalfen   Germany 9 February 2019 Fort Washington Avenue Armory [31]
7 4:20.5 Mary Decker-Tabb   United States 19 February 1982 San Diego Sports Arena
8 4:21.79 Regina Jacobs   United States 8 January 2000 New Balance Mile Challenge
9 4:22.66 Shannon Rowbury   United States 31 January 2015 Wake Forest Invitational
10 4:22.86 Colleen Quigley   United States 9 February 2019 Fort Washington Avenue Armory [32]
11 4:22.93 Kate Grace   United States 11 February 2017 Millrose Games
12 4:23.00 Carla Sacramento   Portugal 24 February 2002 Meeting Pas de Calais
13 4:23.19 Gabriela Szabo   Romania 4 February 2001 Sparkassen Cup
14 4:23.33 Kutre Dulecha   Ethiopia 4 February 2001 Sparkassen Cup
15 4:23.49 Olga Komyagina   Russia 27 January 2008 Moscow
16 4:23.50 Axumawit Embaye   Ethiopia 21 February 2015 Arena Birmingham

Youth age recordsEdit

Key:   Incomplete information

BoysEdit

Age Time Athlete Nation Birthdate Date Location Ref
5 6:33.3 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 23 July 2013 Santa Rosa
6 5:44.4 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 5 August 2014 Santa Rosa
7 5:20.3 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 9 June 2015 Santa Rosa
8 5:12.1 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 9 August 2016 Santa Rosa
9 5:02.5 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 27 June 2017 Santa Rosa
10 4:46.6 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 24 July 2018 Santa Rosa
11 4:43.9 Daniel Skandera   United States 2 November 2007 1 November 2019 Oakland
12 4:36.80 Jeremy Kain   United States 18 August 2004 13 July 2017 Los Gatos
13 4:26.49 James Burke   United States 5 August 1997 21 May 2011 Schenectady
14 4:19.73 Ryan Silva   United States 27 June 1995 12 June 2010 Portland
15 4:08.8 Jim Arriola   United States 10 June 1958 22 April 1972 Long Beach
16 3:56.29 Jakob Ingebrigtsen   Norway 19 September 2000 15 June 2017 Oslo [33]
3:54.63 Victor Torres   United States 19 April 1989 14 June 2005 New York
17 3:50.90 Hamza Driouch   Qatar 16 November 1994 7 June 2012 Oslo [34]
18 3:49.77 Caleb Ndiku   Kenya 9 October 1992 4 June 2011 Eugene [35]
19 3:49.29 William Biwott Tanui   Kenya 5 March 1990 3 July 2009 Oslo [36]

GirlsEdit

Age Time Athlete Nation Birthdate Date Location Ref
7 6:05.1 Kristina Wilson   United States 5 December 1963 5 June 1971
8 5:43.5 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 10 December 2013 Sydney
9 5:18.74 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 17 January 2015 Wollongong
10 5:04.19 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 16 January 2016 Wollongong
11 4:56.08 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 4 March 2017 Sydney
12 4:46.57 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 13 January 2018 Wollongong
13 4:44.73 Imogen Stewart   Australia 27 July 2005 22 December 2018 Sydney
14 4:40.1 i Mary Decker   United States 4 August 1958 16 March 1973 Richmond
15 4:36.0 Gunvor Hilde   Norway 13 November 1963 14 September 1979 London
16 4:28.25i Mary Cain   United States 3 May 1996 16 February 2013 New York
17 4:24.11i Mary Cain   United States 3 May 1996 24 January 2014 Boston
18 4:24.10i Kalkidan Gezahegne   Ethiopia 8 May 1991 20 February 2010 Birmingham
19 4:17.57 Zola Budd   United Kingdom 26 May 1966 21 August 1985 Zurich

Season's bestsEdit

  • "i" indicates performance on 200m indoor track

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ It has always been customary to give horizontal distances in yards and vertical distances in feet
  2. ^ Mile (unit of measurement). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b Bryant, John (2005). 3:59.4: The Quest to Break the 4 Minute Mile. Random House. ISBN 9780099469087.
  4. ^ McMillan, Ken. "Classic weekend notebook: Running for a good cause". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c 12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine (p. 546, 549–50). IAAF. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  6. ^ World Outdoor Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b Mile - Introduction. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  8. ^ 1954: Bannister breaks four-minute mile. BBC On This Day. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  9. ^ Butcher, Pat (4 May 2004). Completely off pace. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
  10. ^ Commonwealth Games Medallists - Men. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 12 June 2011.
  11. ^ "World Records". International Association of Athletics Federations. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Kejelcha breaks world indoor mile record with 3:47.01 in Boston". IAAF. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Bowerman Mile Results" (PDF). www.diamondleague-eugene.com. 31 May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  14. ^ "All-time women's best Mile run". alltime-athletics.com. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  15. ^ Mike Rowbottom (12 July 2019). "Hassan breaks world mile record in Monaco with 4:12.33 - IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  16. ^ Mike Rowbottom (17 February 2016). "Dibaba and Souleiman break world indoor records in Stockholm". IAAF. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Mile Run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Mile Run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  19. ^ Mike Rowbottom (12 July 2019). "Hassan breaks world mile record in Monaco with 4:12.33 - IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  20. ^ Mike Rowbottom (12 July 2019). "Hassan breaks world mile record in Monaco with 4:12.33 - IAAF Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Mile Run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 9 July 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Mile run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Mile run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Mile run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Mile run Results" (PDF). sportresult.com. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  26. ^ "All-time men's best Mile Run indoor". IAAF. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Mile Run Invitational Results". lancertiming.com. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Mile run Results". runnerspace.com. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  29. ^ https://www.iaaf.org/records/all-time-toplists/middlelong/one-mile/indoor/women/senior?regionType=world&page=1&bestResultsOnly=true&oversizedTrack=regular&firstDay=1899-12-31&lastDay=2018-02-09
  30. ^ John Mulkeen (16 February 2019). "Tefera breaks world indoor 1500m record in Birmingham". IAAF. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  31. ^ Jon Mulkeen (10 February 2019). "Kejelcha gets within 0.01 of world indoor mile record at Millrose Games". IAAF. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  32. ^ Rich Sands (10 February 2019). "Millrose Games Women — American 800 Record For Ajee' Wilson". trackandfieldnews.com. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Dream Miles results" (PDF). 15 June 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  34. ^ "2012 Bislett Games--Oslo Diamond League". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  35. ^ "2011 Prefontaine Classic Results". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  36. ^ "Search Mile History – Mile History". Retrieved 14 November 2016.

External linksEdit