European runners chase road mile records in Brasov

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  • European runners chase road mile records in Brasov

Some of Europe’s top middle distance runners will be chasing a place in the history books at the European Road Mile in the picturesque Romanian city of Brasov on Saturday (9).

With the global governing body for the sport World Athletics having recently confirmed that the pending world records for the men’s and women’s road miles – the event having become and official world record event at the start of the year – are 4:01.21 and 4:27.97 for US athletes Sam Prakel and Nikki Hiltz so runners like Ireland’s Brian Fay and Italy’s Mohad Abdikadar Sheik Ali are going to Transylvania looking to make a name for themselves on the fast and flat record-legal course.

Fay has had an outstanding year. In January, he ran a 3:52.03 mile indoors albeit on an oversized track and followed this up with an Irish 5000m record of 13:01.40 in July and just this week, in Rovereto on Wednesday night, he reduced his 3000m best to 7:36.89.

Sheik Ali is also finishing the season on a high and ran a 1500m personal best of 3:33.79 in Padova on Sunday to move up to third on the Italian all-time list.

Considerable interest will also be generated by the presence of the Netherlands’ 20-year-old Stefan Nillessen, who was an impressive winner of the European U23 1500m title last month. (Note: Irish 1500m record holder Andrew Coscoran was announced by the organisers as competing but was a late withdrawal on Thursday due to end-of-season fatigue.)

The fastest European time on a legal course – with most road miles being downhill or on otherwise ‘illegal’ point-to-point courses – was back in 1975 when Sweden’s Ulf Hogberg ran 3:57.1 in London but this has not been ratified for record purposes.

Similarly, Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen ran 4:26.83 in Rome five years ago but again this has n ot been considered as a pending world or European record as the times to be considered for world and continental records have had to be achieved since the start of the year.

Consequently, Turkiye’s 2014 European U20 cross country champion Emine Hatun Mechaal or Greek 1500m champion Melíssa Anastasákis could garner themselves some headlines in the women’s race.

The European Road Mile is part of the Brasov Running Festival which is a two-day event and features the Trunsylvania 10km – a World Athletics Elite Label Race and the only road race of this status in Romania – on Sunday.

Top flight Kenyan runners Weldon Langat and Agnes Ngetich start as the favourites but Romania’s Joan Chelimo Melly, the national record holder for the marathon with 2:18:04 who is third on the European all-time list for the event, will get plenty of local support around the three-lap course.

Both the European Road Mile and the Trunsylvania 10km will be streamed live with English commentary from two-time World Cross Country Championships silver medallist Tim Hutchings, one of the most well-known voices in athletics on the Brasov Running Festival's YouTube Channel which can be found here.

The European Road Mile will be streamed live from 19:25 to 19:55 EEST (GMT +3 hours) on Saturday 9 September.

The  Trunsylvania 10km will be streamed live from 9:50 to 11:20 EEST (GMT +3 hours) on Sunday 10 September.


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