World 1500m champion to return to open TCS Mini London Marathon, 14 years after he took part in the race
Jake Wightman will experience a full-circle moment when he starts off the 2023 TCS Mini London Marathon on Saturday (April 22).
The world 1500m champion will return to an event he once competed in back in 2008 and 2009. He finished 45th and 21st in those respective races and has certainly come a long way since.
The 7000 kids who will take part will also get the opportunity to ask questions to Wightman the previous night in a Q&A with the current world champion.
Wightman became the first Brit since Steve Cram in 1983 to win a world 1500m title, when he claimed a stunning gold in Oregon last summer.
“Jake [Wightman] winning the world championships and his dad [Geoff Wightman] commentating on that race was an amazing British story,” says London Marathon Event Director Hugh Brasher. “We’ve got an incredible history in the 1500m and mile.
“The inspirational story of Jake being a world champion and his journey in the sport is so incredible and relatable. Building this mini marathon is about kids enjoying running.”
The Mini London Marathon has a rich history. It started in 1986 and involved children from 33 London boroughs. Since then a plethora of Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medallists have emerged from the event.
Apart from Wightman, other Mini London Marathon winners and participants include Sir Mo Farah, David Weir, Laura Muir, Eilish McColgan, Hannah Cockroft and Keely Hodgkinson, to name just a few.
This year, the start line has been widened, with London Marathon organisers aiming to get 50,000 kids taking part in the event by 2030.
“There were days when running was seen as a punishment,” Brasher adds. “We have 40% of kids coming out of primary school obese and 20% are going in obese. That’s a pretty poor indictment so the more kids we can get doing things like the Daily Mile, junior parkrun and the Mini Marathon, the better it is for the future for all of us.
“Every single child taking part in that event will be rewarded by TCS for completing the event. They will be raising money for their school either for sports of computer equipment. We expect round about 7000 school kids to be taking part and finishing under the incredible gantry that for the last 42 years has been historic.”
2023 Mini London Marathon schedule
9.00am – U17 men and U14 boys wheelchair
9.02am – U17 women and U14 girls wheelchair
9.04am – U17 and U14 ambulant
9.10am – U17 men
9.15am – U15 boys
9.20am – U13 boys
9.25am – U17 women
9.30am – U15 girls
9.35am – U13 girls
All championship races are 2.6km. This will be followed by a number of waves of non-championship races with 2.6km for Years 5 to 12 and one mile for pupils in reception to Year 7.
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