Mile News

A Fast Mile Is More Impressive Than a Slow Marathon

August 22, 2017

I’ll always find it more impressive when someone tries to run their fastest possible Mile than when someone putters through an ultra and then expects adulation because they managed not to die.

By Martin Fritz Huber, Outside

Last year, speaking to Outside, ultrarunner Rickey Gates made the following observation while reflecting on Mount Marathon, the brief but notoriously brutal mountain race in Seward, Alaska: “There’s a great fascination with ultras being harder than other races,” Gates said, “but the Mile is every bit as difficult as 100 miles if you apply yourself to it.”

Coming from a guy who is currently wrapping up a 4,000-mile run across the country, the notion that four laps around a track can potentially pose a serious challenge might seem a little surprising. The Mile is every bit as difficult as 100 miles? How can that be the case? Only a sliver of the global running population will ever experience the rigors of racing Western States or Leadville. The Mile run, on the other hand, is firmly ensconced as an enduringly unpopular fixture in high school gym classes from Miami to Anchorage.

When the goal is merely to finish, it’s logical to assume that the longer the race, the more formidable the task. There are exceptions, of course. Mount Marathon is “only” a 5K, but every year runners struggle to complete the precipitous 3,000-foot ascent/descent in one piece. In 2012, someone disappeared.

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Tags: mount marathon (1) , mile vs. marathon (1)

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Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

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