It’s like the Stanley Cup of running. The Vince Lombardi Trophy of the mile. The Commissioner’s Cup of trouncing some of the world’s fastest men over four laps. It’s the Emsley Carr Trophy, a red Moroccan leather-bound book that contains the signatures of every winner of the Emsley Carr Mile since its birth in 1953.

The event will be one of the many races at the 2012 Aviva London Grand Prix beginning on Friday, July 13th. The gun for the mile will go off at roughly 3:27pm BST Saturday, July 14th, with a winner penning their John Hancock into the book less than four minutes after that.

The likes of seven former world record holders and ten Olympic Champions have graced the pages of this book, which is likely stored in a room that smells of rich mahogany.  Kip Keino, Steve Ovett, Murray Halberg, John Walker, Sebastian Coe, Saïd Aouita, William Tanui, Vénuste Niyongabo, Haile Gebrselassie and Hicham El Guerrouj are just a few of the names that can be found flipping through the pages.

Last years’ winner, Leo Manzano, who ran 3:51.21, will be back to defend his title. The tiny American won’t be alone, however, as in attendance will be fifteen of this year’s fastest milers. Among that elite field will be New Zealander Nick Willis, Father Time Bernard Lagat, and a handful of Kenyans who have already ran 3:50.XX this year.

One of those Kenyans is19 year old Caleb Ndiku, as he’s run 3:50.00 this year at the Oslo Diamond League finishing .75 seconds behind Asbel Kiprop. And if we're using reigning Olympic champions as sticks to measure ourselves by, Silas Kiplagat is another one who could be in contention. Earlier this year Kiplagat kicked down Kiprop in a 1500m in Doha, finishing in 3:29.63.

This race, however, is a difficult one to predict, as five of the top ten ranked milers in the world this year will be toeing the line. And as Ben Franklin once said, “any given Sunday.”

Win, lose or draw, this race will be a nail biter. If you don’t tune in solely for the excitement that a mile race provides, then at least watch  to see who will get to scribble their name into the history [of the mile] book.

Start List
Name                                              DOB                 Nation    PB             SB

BADDELEY Andrew                    20.06.1982           GBR       3:49.38  3:54.29

BIRGEN Bethwell                           6.08.1988           KEN       3:50.43  3:50.43

CHEBOI Collins                              25.09.1987         KEN       3:51.44  3:51.44

CHOGE Augustine Kiprono             21.01.1987         KEN       3:50.14  3:51.50

GATHIMBA Gideon                        09.03.1980         KEN       3:50.24  3:50.24

GREGSON Ryan                             26.04.1990         AUS        3:52.24  3:53.62

INGEBRIGTSEN Henrik                 24.02.1991         NOR       3:57.35  3:57.35

KIPLAGAT Silas                             20.08.1989         KEN        3:49.39  3:53.73

KOMBICH Ismail Kipngetich         16.01.1985          KEN

LAGAT Bernard                             12.12.1974          USA       3:47.28  3:54.28

MANZANO Leonel                       12.09.1984          USA       3:50.64  3:53.07

MURRAY Ross                             08.10.1990          GBR

NDIKU Caleb Mwangangi             09.10.1992           KEN       3:49.77  3:50.00

RISELEY Jeffrey                            11.11.1986           AUS       3:51.25  3:52.53

WILLIS Nick                                 25.04.1983           NZL       3:50.66  3:51.77