Iffley Road Mile, BMC 50th Anniversary

There was a fantastic turnout for the BMC Grand Prix on the 20th July, seeing Richard Peters and Jonny Mellor becoming only the second duo to break the four-minute mile barrier in the same race at Oxford’s own Iffley Road track.

Peters pipped Mellor for victory in the elite men’s mile race at the venue where Roger Bannister first achieved the feat in 1954. Mellor (Liverpool Harriers) took the lead with 200m to go, but Peters (Bristol & West) edged him out at the finish, clocking 3mins 58.70secs to his rival’s 3.58.76.

A commendable effort was also given by Steve Mitchell, another Bristol athlete, who did much to push the pace before coming third in an agonising time of 4.00.49.

There was also a British record in the D race where Belgrave Harrier Mike Trees smashed Guy Bracken’s vet 50 best of 4.37.2 with a time of 4.32.05. Alison Leonard (Blackburn) won the elite women’s mile in 4.42.39 after earlier dropping out of the 800m.

The two-lap race also featured Great Britain international Nicola Sanders, who is a multiple world medallist over 400m. She found it tough in her 2013 debut, coming in last in 2.05.8. “I am just glad I have got the first one out of the way because it was so hard!” said Sanders, who last ran over two laps in 2009. Canadian veteran Diane Cummins triumphed in 2.03.60, with Oxford’s Carolyn Plateau recording 2.05.1 for fourth.

Kenya’s Abraham Kiplagat, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, won the elite men’s 800m in a time of 1.49.59. The local athletes competing included Combe’s Steve Naylor, who recorded a season’s best in the men’s A 5,000m race. Naylor (Bedford & County Hariers) finished ninth in 14mins 48.48secs after going through 3,000m in 8.46, while Oxford City’s David Bruce was 12th in 15.14.45.

Results and Match Report available on the OUCCC website.

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