Local Sport

Australia's Best To Join Mitchell Street Mile

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Commonwealth Games 5th placegetter Georgia Griffith and 3-time Australian Champion Heidi See (nee Gregson) are the latest in a string of big names to join the field for next Sunday’s Lottoland Mitchell Street Million Dollar Mile.

Dubbed by many as the next big thing in Australian middle distance running, Georgia Griffith became the first Australian to run in both the 800m and 1500m at world championship, when selected for both in London last year. A feat she repeated at the Commonwealth Games this year.

Now the 21-year-old will turn to the streets as she attempts to win the $15,000 first prize purse on September 16.

“I’ve never done a road mile before, and think it’s really cool to be able to race through the streets of Darwin,” she said.

With the women’s race set to start at 5:20pm, Mitchell Street is bound to be full of spectators and patrons as the athletes tear down the Top End’s main drag.

“From what I’ve heard it is a really fun event and always has a great atmosphere. I am really looking forward to the race as well as the warm weather up in Darwin!

As the top ranked female 800m runner and second on the 1500m lists for 2018, Griffith will be watched closely when she enters full stride.

“I’ve just come off a bit of a break after a busy season, but am looking forward to having the chance to get a bit of a hit out amongst a great field.

“I think it is pretty exciting as well as a great initiative for running in Australia to have the world’s richest mile right here!,” the fifth placegetter at this year’s Commonwealth Games 1500m said.

29 year old Heidi See has hardly raced in 2018, but is finally returning to form that saw her win a trio of Australian 1500m records in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This during a time when Australia had three women make the semi-finals of the 1500m at the Rio Olympics shows the quality in See.

“I am very proud of those three wins. The past 18 months have been tough as there has been a lot of setbacks and not much reward. This goes with the sport though, so I have done my best to take advantage of the last 7 months away from racing and just try and rebuild my body.

Having plied her trade on the US College scene at Iona College in New York, See married American distance runner Jeff See and had spent much of her time overseas at this time of the year.

“I've wanted to race MSM in previous years, however have always been overseas during this the time of the year. I've heard that it is a fun and relaxed vibe, which will be perfect for my first event back to racing. I also know that it has some very attractive prize money up for grabs!” she said.

“A win of $15,000 is HUGE and can be crucial for most athletes when setting up their next season for competition and travel. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to earn it,” she stated.

Having had quite a break from racing, See comes in a little unknown of her own form but feels it’s a perfect opportunity to announce her return to elite racing.

“I have only run one other road mile is my career, so I'm looking forward to racing in an environment that I am not extremely experienced in. Running right now is going well. I am feeling fitter each month but am lacking that competitive edge in my day to day life. I expect the Lottoland Mitchell Street Mile to bring it,” she declared.

Entries are open for the Lottoland Mitchell Street Million Dollar Mile on Sunday September 16 at mitchellstreetmile.com.au

Image: By Bidgee [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons