HUNDREDS of runners took part in a ‘mass mile’ run in Oxford to mark the 70th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister's record-breaking four-minute mile.

Runners convened at St Aldate’s, race down Oxford's High Street, and finally, sprinted to the finish line on Iffley Road, the same track where Sir Roger created history.

The event was organised jointly by the Oxford University Athletic Club and the University of Oxford, backed by Oxfordshire County Council.

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Sir Roger's son, Thurstan Bannister, was in attendance to celebrate his father's legacy.

He said: "After retiring from competitive athletics, my father continually encouraged elite athletes and amateur runners of all ages.

"The track and community miles will be exciting to watch, and I am sure many runners will find them.”

The community mile was open to participants of all ages and abilities. Veteran Olympian Steve Cram CBE, a retired track and field athlete, started the race.

Author and broadcaster Liz Fraser took part in the event, she said: “Just ran the Bannister Community Mile and met my all-time running hero.  Steve Cram, thank you for inspiring me when I was nine.”

Jared Martin, club captain of Oxford University Cross Country Club said: "Oxford University Athletic Club and Oxford University Cross Country Club are extremely excited to host Bannister Miles on this special anniversary.

"For the city of Oxford and beyond, Bannister Miles offers an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the benefits of sport."

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The University of Oxford vice-chancellor, professor Irene Tracey, took part in the race on Saturday morning, sporting the bib number ‘125’.

She said: "I grew up with a love of sport and remain a keen runner, committed to the transformative benefits of sport.

"The Bannister Miles was a fitting way to mark this legacy, achieved at the University 70 years ago."

Hicham El Guerrouj, world record holder for the 1,500m sprint also took part. He won the world record in 1997 with a time of three minutes and 26 seconds.

Speaking ahead of the event, Councillor Dr Nathan Ley, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for public health, inequalities and community safety, said: "We are delighted to be supporting this event to mark the 70th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister's impressive feat.

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"We hope it will help to inspire more children and young people to follow in Sir Roger's footsteps."

In addition to the athletic events, visitors can indulge in food and drink stalls, explore a pop-up World Athletics museum, and engage with health and fitness groups.

As the day came to a close, World Athletics Heritage Plaques unveiled a plaque to recognise Sir Roger's achievement and Oxford University Athletic Club's contribution to athletics.