Winchester RC sent eight athletes to the iconic Iffley Road track in Oxford to help celebrate the life and legacy of Sir Roger Bannister on the 70th anniversary of his record-breaking four-minute mile.

The day began early with runners of all ages and abilities taking part in the ‘Bannister Community Mile’, including Winchester RC’s Sarah Witt, before a series of track races culminated in the men’s and women’s elite races. 

The mile holds a special place in UK athletics with races taking place under the watchful eye of former world record holder Steve Cram and current holder Hicham El Guerrouj. The event was organised by the Oxford University Athletics Club and the British Milers Club with support from England Athletics. First to race for Winchester RC was Stan Parkinson setting a personal best of 4:35:01 in winning his heat. Three Winchester runners featured in the  U17 race, Ethan Skipwith finishing in 2nd place in 4:40:34 closely followed by Seth Noott (4th) in 4:41:89 and Ivor Martin (5th) in 4:48:17. Poppy Taylor was the clubs only representative in the U17 women’s race and held on to finish just outside the top three in 5:10:04. Ruben Price was part of a very strong line up racing in the Peter Coe U17 Championship mile race and crossed the line in 4:32:29. WIll Atkins finally got to race in another fast paced mile. With less than four seconds separating the field of twelve runners, Will finished 7th in 4:17:04.

The climax to the day saw the elite races and Winchester RC was represented by Hampshire cross-country champion Helen Hall. In an exciting race, Helen came home in 4:48:90. To the excitement of the large crowd, the day culminated in the elite men’s race with four of the runners breaking the mythical four-minute barrier.

Coach Nick Anderson said of the day: “This is a great chance to celebrate running past, present and future. As a club, events like this show we are really moving on and have become home to enthusiastic runners of all ages and abilities.”

Next up for the club is the Alton 10 in the Hampshire road race league.