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The Virtual SMile

How fast can you run a mile?

With the launch of the Sportlink Mile – The Virtual SMile (sponsored by Cool Camper Graphics and On) you have the chance to find out… and you could be in with a chance of winning part of a prize pot of £1,000.

It doesn’t matter if you can run a 15-minute mile or a sub-five minute mile, everyone’s a winner – this is just great fun, celebrating what is a classic distance with lots of history.

All you have to do is sign up to run a virtual qualifying mile between October 18 and November 4 to take part.

Entries cost just £4.50 and everyone is guaranteed a commemorative medal.


You never know, you might even surprise yourself, and end up rubbing shoulders with Norfolk’s elite runners at the Sportspark, UEA because the top 24 male and 24 female runners will be invited to take part in a series of one-mile races on the track.

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 staggering 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.

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)