"How fast can you run a mile?"
How many times have you been asked that?
Here's a chance to find out in a racing environment.
The High Point Athletic Club is introducing the Summer Miles Series, and the first event will be June 22 in High Point. Competition will begin at 7 p.m. at Aderholdt Track at the High Point Athletic Complex, 2920 School Park Road, High Point.
The event is the brainchild of Brandon Hudgins, 32, a two-year resident of the Triad (Jamestown) and a former collegiate runner at Winthrop and Appalachian State.
"As I have gotten plugged into the community here, both running and the actual community, I saw an opportunity to host a unique event, one that the Triad area just doesn't have," says Hudgins, who is getting help from Fleet Feet Sports speedster Stevven Anderson.
Here are five reasons you should consider entering this event:
The magic of the mile
Roger Bannister, running the mile in Oxford, England, on May 6, 1954, became the first person to break four minutes. While many others have gone on to do that, while Hicham El Guerrouj's 3:43.13 still stands as the world record nearly 20 years later, Bannister's feat remains an iconic human achievement.
Hudgins, the race director, is one of fewer than 550 Americans who have broken four minutes, doing it in 3:59.67 at the Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh in August 2015. But the Triad has a presence on the U.S. list, including:
- Kernersville's Dylan Ferris, who ran for East Forsyth and Stanford, was timed in 3:58.90 indoors in February 2010 in Seattle.
- Winston-Salem's Bobby Mack, a North Forsyth alum and a former All-American at N.C. State, ran a 3:59.70 in May 2012.
- Winston-Salem's Donnie Cowart did it for the first time at the Sir Walter in 2014, clocking a 3:58.43.
- Pfafftown's Craig Engels, a Reagan High School grad, broke through at the Sir Walter in 2017 with a 3:57.67.
- And Paul Chelimo, the former UNCG All-American and Olympic silver medalist, achieved the feat, a 3:58.59, indoors at Winston-Salem's JDL Fast Track in February 2018.
And the distance remains classic. The web site Bring Back the Mile celebrates "America's distance" in these days where the metric system rules the track world. You'll find plenty of information there about the mile, but you'll also find a calendar of mile races across the United States, including this one.
Your friends will get you
You won't get asked how far you ran in that weekend 5K or 10K.
It's a mile. Simple and easy at the water cooler on Monday morning.
"Everybody at some point in time has run a mile," Hudgins says, "whether it was in middle school or high school gym class. And it's something that everybody understands. If you tell somebody how fast you've run a mile, they they understand what that is. Like, 'Oh my God, you've run a 3:59? I ran 7:46 in gym class; how is that even possible?' Whereas, if you tell somebody what your 5K PR is, it's just kind of hard for them to wrap their head around it."
So whether it's 3:59, or 7:46, or maybe it's 12:19, you'll know where you stand. And so will your friends.
All eyes on you
The mile is four laps, plus nearly 30 feet, on a track. That means it's flat, and the pain will end quickly.
But your family and friends can watch your every stride.
"I love road races," Hudgins says, "but you spend so much of the time away from the people. You're running through neighborhoods or city streets, and you see people at the beginning of the race and see people at the end of the race. If you've got a mile on a track, the whole thing can be visible to everybody, and you can pack the track and let everybody experience what it's like to run in front of a crowd."
The race benefits GO FAR
GO FAR, founded in 2003 by High Point resident Robin Lindsay, is an after-school curriculum in which students learn about healthy lifestyle choices as they're training to run a 5K. Proceeds from the Summer Miles Series will go to GO FAR, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
It's 10 bucks. 'Nuff said.