Albie Thomas Mile – Facts and things to watch

Published Thu 28 Mar 2024

28 March 2024

Albie Thomas Mile – Facts and things to watch

The meet is named after 3-time Olympian and world record holder Albie Thomas.

Albie’s mile PB of 3:58.3, was set this week in 1964, 60-years-ago, and would be the fourth fastest time in the history of this race.

400m hurdler Sarah Carli clocked her fastest ever time in Australia on this track in December 2020. It was an Olympic qualifier and secured her Tokyo selection. She leads a strong 400m hurdles field tonight.

Darkhorse in the men’s mile is Jack Anstey. The US-based Queenslander, who represented Australia at the 2022 World Indoors has this year set PBs at every distance from 800m to 3000m, including setting an Australian indoor 1000m record with a stunning time of 2:16.95.

With the world junior championships trials approaching, we will be watching with interest the form of many of the teenage hopefuls including: Siena Farrell, Matt Hunt, Mia Toohey, Lucie Francis, Max Russell, Annabelle Miller, Hayden Todd, Jade Kitching, Claudia Meaker, Fleur Cooper, Ella Penman, Piper Simpson, Aiden Princena-White and Daniel Williams.

Some PBs set to be obliterated: Jessica Hull 800m – 2:03.78, Lauren Ryan mile – 4:32.6

Albie’s widow, Nola, and family led by daughter Robyn Whitaker are special guests and always attend the meet.

The Albie Thomas mile has on three previous occasions been the Australian mile championship – in 2018, 2019 and 2022.

Reigning champions are Izzi Thornton-Bott and Cam Myers.

The first Albie Thomas mile was in 2015, won by Brittany Kaan (nee McGowan) and Jordan Gusman.

Race records: Jordan Gusman 3:57.29 (in 2017) and Keely Small 4:33.57 (2020).

The current Australian 1500m record holder, Olli Hoare placed 10th as an 18-year-old in the first race in 2015, clocking 4:13.67.

Two Classic races:

Men – mid-COVID times the 2020 race saw Jye Edwards defeat Olli Hoare who was back from the US briefly. Jye missed the race record by 0.01 seconds clocking 3:57.30. Third was arguably Australia finest 800/1500m athlete Jeff Riseley while James Nipperess was fourth.

Women – 2019 race where Georgia Griffith won in 4:36.29 from Chloe Tighe and dual Olympian Jenny Blundell. Olympiand Jessica Hull was fourth and Rose Davies 7th. Also competing in a highly race were Keely Small, Brittany Kaan, Izzy Thornton-Bott and Jaylah Hancock-Cameron.

Sub 4-minute roll of honour:

3:57.29 Jordan Gusman 2017

3:57.30 Jye Edwards 2020

3:58.26 Olli Hoare 2020

3:58.87 Jordan Gusman 2016

3:59.18 Matt Ramsden 2018

3:59.32 James Hansen 2017

3:59.47 Jordan Gusman 2015

3:59.95 Ryan Gregson 2016

3:59.99 Jeff Riseley 2020

Albie Thomas career facts:

Mile PB 3:58.3 set in 1964

Won 20 NSW titles and 8 National titles

Went to 3 Olympics (1956, 1960 & 1964)

Won two medals at the Commonwealth Games

Set 4 World Records

Awarded an OAM in 2013

Other Interesting Facts:

  • Albie took care of a garden at the St George School for disabled children.
  • Member of St George Club from 1951 to 2013, 62 years.
  • President of St George club from 1995 to 2013, 18 years. Committee member for more than 25 years.
  • The actor Gregory Peck watched the 4x1 mile relay team break the world record in Melbourne in 1959.
  • Albie Thomas took iconic photos of Ron Clarke falling in the 1956 Australian mile championships.

Albie’s family: wife Nola; daughters Robyn and Patricia; and four grandsons, Thomas, Mark, Liam and Mathew.

Contemporises of Albie in a golden era of Australian distance running: John Landy, Merv Lincoln, Herb Elliott, Ron Clarke, Dave Power and Al Lawrence.

Event details: timetable and start lists

David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Albie Thomas