Westminster Mile And BMC Combine To Set Sub-four Challenge

Westminster Mile and BMC combine to set sub-four challenge

September 21 event in London will see athletes hoping to follow in the footsteps of Roger Bannister

The 70th anniversary of the historic first sub-four-minute mile will be celebrated at the Vitality Westminster Mile on Saturday September 21 with two British Milers’ Club races to showcase the UK’s current generation of middle-distance talent.


Westminster Mile

This month marks 70 years since Roger Bannister became the first man to run inside four minutes for the mile at Iffley Road, Oxford. Helped by his illustrious pacemakers Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, Bannister ran the four laps of the track in 3:59.4.

Since then, more than 250 British men have emulated Bannister’s achievement and run under four minutes for the mile on the track and 20 men have done it on a road course. But no one has managed to repeat the feat in recent years at Britain’s most iconic mile road race, the Vitality Westminster Mile – with Chris O’Hare coming closest in 2019 when he ran 4:01.


With the help of the BMC, the cream of British men’s endurance running will be offered the chance to change that on September 21. Pacemakers will be employed to give the field the best chance to run a sub-four-minute mile around the historic loop of St James’s Park.

The BMC women’s race will also have pacemakers with the aim of running inside 4:30.

Adelle Tracey wins the Westminster Mile (Mark Shearman)


Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events (organisers of the Vitality Westminster Mile) and son of Chris Brasher, said: “Sir Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute-mile barrier for the mile is one of British sports most iconic and enduring achievements. It is also something that holds particular significance for me as my father was one of Sir Roger’s pacemakers and helped him to achieve something that people said at the time was impossible.

“We are very excited to partner with the British Milers’ Club to mark the 70th anniversary of this historic achievement with a pair of races at this year’s Vitality Westminster Mile that will showcase the current rich generation of middle-distance talent here in the UK. Nobody has yet managed to break four minutes around the famous St James’s Park course and it would be a fitting tribute to Sir Roger’s achievement if that were to change on September 21.”

The race is open to any BMC member aiming to run faster than 4:40 for men or 5:24 for women. To enter and for more information, click here.

There will be prize money available for first (£1000), second (£500) and third (£250) in the men’s and women’s races with a bonus of £250 for the first man that runs inside four minutes and first woman that runs faster than 4:30.


To enter one of the mass participation events, visit vitalitywestminstermile.co.uk

The event is free for under 11s, £7 for ages 11 to 17 and just £10 for adults. Westminster residents are eligible for a £5 discount.

Melissa Courtney-Bryant

Melissa Courtney-Bryant (conceived 30 August 1993) is an English center and marathon runner. She won the bronze decoration in the 1500 meters at the 2018 Region Games and bronze for the 3000 meters at the 2019 and 2023 European Indoor Titles.

Athletics career

Brought into the world in Poole, Dorset, she at first centered around swimming, yet changed to running. She joined Poole Athletic Club and worked under mentor Imprint Pauley from the age of twelve, as well as her dad Imprint as additional sprinters joined the club. She credits her accomplice and individual competitor, Ashley Bryant, which empowering her to up her presentation after a time of stagnation. In the wake of moving on from Brunel College London with a degree in sports brain research, she moved to prepare at Loughborough in 2017 to work with Burglarize Denmark.


Courtney made enormous upgrades to her 800 m and 1500 m dominates in 2013 and won the last occasion at the BUCS Titles indoor and out that year. In the 2014 indoor season, she brought home the Welsh indoor championship and came third at the English Indoor Titles. During the 2015 season her 800 m and 1500 m dominates were carried down to 2:05.48 and 4:09.74 minutes and she made her global presentation at the 2015 European Sports U23 Titles, putting tenth in the 1500 m. However she was seventh broadly at the 2016 English Sports Titles, she ran a best of 4:07.55 minutes and acquired determination for the 2016 European Games Titles, contending in the primary round as it were. She collaborated with Cameron Boyek, Sarah McDonald, and Tom Marshall to take the gold decoration in the debut blended transfer occasion at the 2017 European Crosscountry Titles.

In the wake of winning the 1500 m English Colleges title, she addressed Extraordinary England at the 2017 Universiade and set fifth in the last. That colder time of year, she ventured out to prepare in Iten in Kenya. Courtney was decided to address Ribs at the 2018 Region Games and she won 1500 m bronze decoration in an individual best season of 4:03.44 minutes, beaten simply by Caster Semenya and Beatrice Chepkoech.

She won the 3000 m occasion at the Karlsruhe meeting of the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Visit with a period of 8:43.36. In Spring that year, she took bronze over similar distance at the European Indoor Titles, setting her own best all the while.

On 24 December 2022, Courtney-Bryant set informal parkrun worldwide best of 15 minutes 31 seconds in Poole, cutting six seconds off Samantha Harrison’s female best imprint.

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