All runners challenged to run classic distance in virtual mile

Callum Bowen Jones could be among the leading men in the Sportlink Virtual Mile event. Picture: Neil

Callum Bowen Jones could be among the leading men in the Sportlink Virtual Mile event. Picture: Neil Featherby - Credit: Archant

All runners are being challenged to see how fast they can run a mile as part of a new virtual event.

The Sportlink One Mile Challenge. Picture: Sportlink

The Sportlink One Mile Challenge. Picture: Sportlink - Credit: Archant

The Sportlink Mile - Virtual SMile (sponsored by Cool Campers and On) is challenging runners to see how fast they can run the classic distance.

You can sign up for the event, which has been launched in association with Athletics Norfolk, now (sign up here) and you have until November 4 to log your time.

Entries cost £4.50 with everyone receiving a commemorative medal and the top 24 male and 24 female runners will then be invited to take part in a series of one-mile races on the track at the Sportspark, UEA.

Three knockout events will take place, running four laps of the track, culminating in a grand final on Friday, December 11.

However, there will be a twist to the semi-final and final events, which will see the best men and women racing against each other.

The ladies will start 30 seconds ahead of the men and to add a further twist the last-placed male and female athletes on the second and third laps will be eliminated, leaving six runners (three men and three women) to battle it out on the final lap.

All six finalists will receive a cash prize with a first prize of £500, second £250, third £100, fourth £75, fifth £50 and sixth £25 whilst all finalists will be awarded a pair of On trainers.

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Sportlink owner Neil Featherby said: “This is a great opportunity to have some fun in what has been a crazy year in more ways than one. Whilst everyone has embraced all the virtual runs and races since lockdown in March, thankfully we have also been able to witness some track meets at the Sportspark thanks to Athletics Norfolk during the last couple of months for which this event will encompass virtual and actual racing.

“It is a race series which is open to EVERYONE over what is a classic distance. Who knows - we may just find someone locally with a hidden talent or from another sport who might just surprise themselves with just how fast they can run a mile and who knows, go on to much greater things just as Paul Evans did.”

Clive Poyner, chair Athletics Norfolk said: “The best thing about this event is that it is a great celebration for Norfolk Athletics and ANYONE can take part. I for one, cannot wait to see who comes out on top.”

Key dates

October 18 - November 4: Run your Sportlink Sportlink Mile - The Virtual Smile (sponsored by Cool Camper Graphics and On) to be submitted via the Athletics Norfolk website.

November 13: Sportlink Mile quarter-finals (UEA Sportspark)

November 27: Sportlink Mile semi-finals (UEA Sportspark)

December 11: Sportlink Mile Grand Final Elimination Race (UEA Sportspark)

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