Mile News

Campaign to “Bring Back the Mile” Hits Its Second Lap

May 21, 2013

A grassroots movement is hoping to rekindle excitement for America’s favorite distance.

By Duncan Larkin, Competitor Magazine

Ryan Lamppa lives and breathes the Mile. It’s a classic American distance — just over four laps on a 400 meter track — that evokes grainy, black-and-white images of track and field legends like Roger Bannister and Peter Snell hurling their tired legs down a cinder track. And for Lamppa, the founder of the grassroots movement known as Bring Back the Mile (BBTM), it’s nothing short of sacred.

Lamppa got the idea to found the organization when he was running around Santa Barbara City College’s track that overlooks the Pacific Ocean a few years ago.

While growing up in the late 1960s, Lamppa had become enamored by the likes of Jim Ryun, who became the first American high school runner to break 4 minutes in the classic four-lap race. But in the late 1970s after the passing of the "Metric Conversion Act", high schools began to phase out the Mile in favor of the 1600m race — a distance that doesn’t hold the same historical, cultural and media significance as the Mile.

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Tags: ryan lamppa (109) , roger bannister (173) , peter snell (31) , jim ryun (105)

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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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