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.
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