As you read this more than a dozen of history's greatest milers will be gathering in Monaco for the World Heritage Mile Night to celebrate the classic middle-distance event.
There is a real Whanganui connection with this event as among the special guests of former world record holders and leading former milers are three who were among the 65 athletes who have broken the four-minute barrier at Cooks Gardens - Peter Snell, John Walker and Kip Keino.
Peter Snell, who famously set the world record at Cooks Gardens and was the first to go under four minutes at the iconic venue on January 27, 1962. Snell also ran under four minutes at Cooks Gardens on February 1, 1964.
John Walker, who was the first man to run a mile in under 3 minutes 50 seconds, was a regular visitor to Cooks Gardens breaking his 99th sub four-minute mile there and producing three other sub four occasions with his best 3:54.65 in February 1983.
The other great miler in the select gathering is Kipchoge Keino, the great Kenyan who ran 3:54.9 at Cooks Gardens in December 1965.
There is a special magic and mystique about the mile which is the last remaining imperial distance still applicable for world record ratification and has lured athletes from across the world to accept the four-lap challenge. This evening in Monaco the select gathering will be presented with a treasure trove of archive footage and a display of mile running memorabilia. Included in this will be the only existing footage of Peter Snell's Cooks Gardens mile provided by Russell Sears from the Whanganui Sports Heritage Trust.
Closer to home the school age Whanganui athletes are coming to the business end of their preparation for the New Zealand secondary Schools which starts in 15 days.
Whanganui High School will be taking their biggest team of 22 athletes for many years, if not their largest ever to Wellington for the New Zealand Schools Championship. They will be fielding girls' and boys' relay teams in both grades in both 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.
As I have said on many occasions in this column, I am certain that relays are a great way to grow the sport and I applaud Greg Fromont and Elaine Baker for following his policy.
The High School team trained at Victoria Park on Saturday morning while the Whanganui Collegiate team had a training day at Cooks Gardens.
The 36-strong Collegiate team travelled to Cooks Gardens in Neville Gorrie's restored London bus. A novelty enjoyed by the young athletes. The morning session was based around timed relay zones where the baton was timed through the 30m change zone for the various relay pairings with some valuable data gathered. Other disciplines had a lighter session before all had lunch and a team meeting at the Grand Hotel. They returned after lunch for a second and more demanding sessions.
On Sunday the distance runners from the group attended the Runway Mile at Whanganui Airport. I am sad that the Runway Mile was not well-attended as it was a great occasion.
The good aspect of the relatively low numbers was that all the secondary school runners won a spot prize. Ben Conder was the race winner with Josephine Perkins the leading girl.
Perkins set a mile time that was comfortably inside her best 1500m equivalent.
Perkins ran well again at club night as did her training partner Ashleigh Alabaster running impressive 600m personal bests in the club C programme. Daniel Taylor won the male 600m from the fast-closing Ben Conder. Taylor's time of 1:29.48 was a best by three seconds and a confidence boost for this promising Year 11 middle distance runner.
Tayla Brunger continued her good run of form by winning both the 300m and 150m the latter with a personal best of 18.67 from Sophie Williams who earlier won the closest race of the day in the 60m - .05 seconds separated the first three. Williams recorded 7.92, Genna Maples 7.96 and Brunger 7.97 while Maples' brother Jonathan, who had run well in Christchurch at the weekend, won the 60m in 7.48 and backed this up with an impressive 17.44 in the 150m to win by nearly 1.5 seconds.
Whanganui athletes travel to Masterton for the final Regional League meeting in Masterton on Saturday hoping to consolidate the club's winning margin. Two weeks out from New Zealand Secondary Schools this provides an excellent final meeting prior to the New Zealand Schools Championships.