Mile News


Group seeks to ‘Bring Back the Mile’

May 30, 2012

By Andrew Wagaman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Ryan Lamppa is missing a story that he knows is out there.

Narratives of people's most memorable mile runs have arrived in his inbox. They come from pro runners who have flirted with the four-minute mark, a man who relives a full-uniform military race and a middle school boy determined not to finish last again in his class race. Another man recalls the final encore mile he would run for his 92-year-old former high school coach.

"But we're still looking for that story from a coach," Lamppa said. "That coach who saw his kid in PE class and said you could be a great miler, and one day a couple years down the road his kid had that breakthrough mile and became a great miler. I know that story is out there."

Lamppa is the media director of Running USA and the founder of "Bring Back the Mile," a campaign he launched publicly in January to champion the mile run. It's a track and field event that once captured the country's imagination and, he believes, still remains in the country's consciousness despite the sport's general conversion to the metric system.

The campaign's mission: moving people to remember.

Lamppa has advocates in St. Louis holding an event that precedes his idea. The Big River Running Company will put on its fifth annual Festival of Miles at St. Louis University High on Thursday. It includes junior high and high school mile races as well as a corporate relay before the elite men's mile, in which competitors almost every year have run sub-four-minute miles.

One purpose of the Festival of Miles is to raise money for an athlete in need, and during its first two years race director Ben Rosario says the crowd was mostly there to show support. The event, though, also promotes what he says is the most dramatic contest in track and field, and now people also come because they "want to see a great track meet."

"They call the Kentucky Derby the most exciting two minutes in sports," he said. "I would say the mile is the most exciting four minutes in sports."

Continue reading at StLouisToday.com

Tags: ryan lamppa (91) , festival of miles (11) , big river running company (4) , ben rosario (12) , bbtm tour (152) , bbtm news (219) , andrew wagaman (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.

ELEVATE
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.

CELEBRATE
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.

NATIONAL MOVEMENT
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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