Mile News

Still struggling to conquer the Mile

December 29, 2014

Inspired by U.S. Olympian Jim Ryun. A great Miler, striding so sleekly along, and I wanted to run the Mile, too.

By Bob Brody, The Record

Week after week I drilled with our team, and week after week I watched from the field as my colleagues went head-to-head against the local competition on the track. I was left out of the action, feeling every inch a failure.

I'm running around the oval running track near the water tower that looms over the football field at Fair Lawn High School on a Saturday afternoon in November 1969. I'm 17-years-old, competing in the Mile in my first track meet and running as hard as I know how.

We're barely a lap into the race, one-fourth the distance to be covered on the quarter-mile track, and already I'm lagging behind the six or seven other runners. I'm pumping my arms and legs with all the force I can muster, gasping, groaning, grunting, yet the farther we run, the farther behind I fall.

I'd joined my high school track team the year before, right after the Olympics in Mexico City, inspired by U.S. Olympian Jim Ryun. A great Miler, striding so sleekly along, and I wanted to run the Mile, too.

Maybe, I figured, if I ran fast enough, it would rescue me from the asthma I had suffered since adolescence. Maybe, too, I would be more popular with girls, grow hair on my chest and get into Harvard. Maybe my parents would stop being deaf.

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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.

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