It was 1st August 2018, I flipped over the calendar to see, written in my own fair hands on the 17th – The Night of the SuperMile! Damn it! I’d completely forgotten about this race. I’d ran this 1 mile race in previous years; my last effort, getting down to 6 minutes and 3 seconds. 

Those 3 second meant a lot, so when entries first came live months ago, I entered thinking with all good intention that I’d train for 6 weeks specifically for this race to nail that sub-6 minute mile. Well, that clearly wasn’t going to happen, and the lack of running I’d been doing, I’d be happy with anything under 6:45!


I did a little preparation the week prior to the race; a couple of 1 mile reps here and there to remind myself how long 1 mile actually was. It’s just over 4 laps of the 400m track. The mile is a great distance; so short that there’s no point in looking at your heart rate, but long enough that you have to pace yourself correctly so you can have a kick in the last 200m and you’re running through the crowd and under the finishing tunnel.

  • Gemma Scougal with Lance dog before The Night of the Supermile

The event

It was Friday evening. I rocked up at the race at Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire. I like evening races; there’s something satisfying and exciting about doing a day’s work and heading off to race whilst everyone else is going home for the tea with their families. 

We got set off in waves; I was Wave 7 out of 8. From previous years experience, I decided not to warm up until at least wave 4 had set off. In the meantime, I watched the first Junior race come in whilst hugging my cup of tea, trying to keep warm (I’d forgotten my trackie bottoms and the summer evenings were starting to threaten with cooler air at the Autumn started to set in). 

  • Map showing the route of the 1 mile race

Watching the 5-10 years was totally amazing and inspiring, they just ran! Simple. With a smile on their faces, their little legs going so fast, they were a blur! I was so proud of them all and I wasn’t even a parent to any of them.

“The lead bike came back and was ready for us. The gun went off.”

After waiting in my car whilst getting warm, it was time. Now or never. I decided that I’d just run my hardest (which I always do anyway) and not expect a time. There was around 16 in my heat with one other lady. Because I put my estimated time as 5:59, I was in with a bunch of sub-6 minuter’s…I felt totally out of my depth, but hey, it’s all a bit of fun – a night out, a race and cake, all for £6, I couldn’t really complain. The lead bike came back and was ready for us. The gun went off. 

The race

I legged it down the first very slightly downhill bit part to the hall. I then realised that I’d started waaaaaay too fast. I slowed (as best you can in a 1mile race) and tried to recover for the next 400m. “Oh no” I thought, I’m at the halfway point already, “I’d best start picking it up. 

Is that someone I can hear behind me? 

I can hear the finish line…

I can see the finish line…

Oooo I think a bit of wee came out…

Best pick it up some more…

I ain’t slowly down now…

I can see the time 5:45…

I can’t run any faster, go, go, go”……

6 minutes 11 seconds. 

That was horrible. Well, for about 30 seconds, then…it FELT GREAT! That buzzing of endorphins flooding through your system. That was pretty good considering, although it got me thinking, I wonder how fast I could go if I did actually train?

Marathon or 1 mile?

There’s a lot in running culture that says that you start off running your 5km ParkRuns, then 10km before you start working your way up to the full marathon; I’ve been there and done it. But what if you haven’t got time for a 3 hour training run on a Sunday morning for you marathon is 2 months time, or you biology and physical traits makes you a better track and short distance runner, or quite simply you’re a sprinter rather than a plodder. Most people can run a mile – but can you run a mile fast?

  • Garmin time of 6 minutes and 11 seconds

Follow me on facebook , Twitter and instagram to keep up-to-date with my races and why not give the 1 mile race a go yourself? I’ve just entered The Night of the Supermile 2019 so this year I’ve given myself a little more preparation, although I’m still recovering from my 65 miles at Endure24 Leeds last month!