The Monument Mile Classic will return for its 5th edition this coming Friday 20th May. Calum Philip takes us through the favourites for the men’s and women’s events.
Taking place within the beautiful University of Stirling campus it promises to be an exciting night of track racing as athletes of all ages and abilities do battle over the iconic mile distance.
The first running of the event for three years with no covid restrictions, there will be 32 races on the night including a wheelchair race. Entry is free and spectators are encouraged to stay throughout the evening and help create the kind of atmosphere conducive to fast mile times.
Strong domestic fields have been assembled for the final and fastest races of the evening. With favourable weather conditions forecast the current meet records of 3:59.36 (Jonathan Davies, 2020) and 4:44.87 (Louise Shanahan,2020) could well be under threat.
Men’s Elite Race
In the men’s elite race local athletes Ben Macmillan (Central AC) and Kieran Reilly (Central AC) will both fancy their chances of a win after strong showings in the Birmingham BMC Grand Prix last Saturday. Macmillan clocked 13:51 over 5000m whilst middle distance man Reilly lowered his 1500m PB to 3:42.
Sol Sweeney (Perth Strathtay Harriers), is the only man in the field to have previously broken the 4 minute mile barrier (3:59.86) and may well start as favourite on paper.
Fresh from a win at the Scottish 10,000m Championships (29:29) and a 4th place finish at the Scottish 5k Road Championships (14:29) James Donald (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) is another to watch as he steps down the distances. The race will be paced to 1,009m in 2:29 by Alistair Hay (Central AC).
Women’s Elite Race
The women’s elite field is undoubtedly the strongest assembled in the events short history and looks set to be a very exciting and open race. Winner of the inaugural event in 2018 Mhairi Maclennan (Inverness Harriers) returns after an impressive end to the winter season which saw her crowned Scottish Inter District Champion and Scottish National Cross Country Champion.
Local athlete Morag Millar (Central AC) will make her Monument Mile debut and boasts impressive pedigree over the 1500m distance with a PB of 4:10 and a 2008 Commonwealth Games appearance to her name.
2021 Scottish National 1500m Champion Sarah Calvert (Edinburgh University Hares & Hounds) is also in the field, with a 2nd place finish at the recent Scottish 5k Road Championships (16:43) backing up mid distance PBs over 1500m (4:14) and 800m (2:02).
2021 Monument Mile winner Hannah Cameron (Aberdeen AAC) also returns and will be keen to defend her title. The race will be paced to 1,009m in 2:54 by Mhairi Hendry (Victoria Park City of Glasgow).
The prize pot has been announced with £250 going to the winners of both the men’s and women’s elite races. Second place will receive £150 and 3rd place £75 respectively.
A further £250 for each race will be split amongst all athletes who break the meet record. The event has also been granted Scottish Student Sport (SSS) Championship status. SSS medals and SportShoes.com vouchers will be amongst the prizes available to student competitors.
Generous support from: GSS Developments, Watts Group Limited, and SportShoes.com has enabled the event to go bigger and better than ever before. Athletes and spectators can look forward to flame units, live music & commentary, limited edition branded caps for all race winners, as well as tasty food & hot beverages courtesy of Smiddy Farm Shop.