Local race aiming to bring the Mile back into spotlight
GNC Live Well Liberty Mile attracts top U.S. field including Leo Manzano and defending champion Heather Kampf
By Alex Nieves, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steve Prefontaine, Roger Bannister, Mary Decker. If you were to stop an adult on the streets of an American city, these names would likely invoke at least a hazy image of past fame and athletic prowess.
But for many Americans the sport of track & field does not hold the same allure it did a few decades ago.
By the mid-1980s, tracks around the country had switched from yards to meters, and the most iconic of the American races, the Mile, had lost its place in the athletic landscape.
For the third year in a row, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon Inc. and Bring Back the Mile, a campaign dedicated to reviving the Mile, will be the host of the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in Downtown Pittsburgh, part of a continued push to increase the popularity of the storied Mile race.
The event, which starts at 7:00pm Friday, will bring together some of the top American distance runners and Western Pennsylvanians of all ages in an effort to introduce more people to the Mile and to give professional runners another venue to compete against high-level competition.
“Our goal with Bring Back the Mile is to further raise the profile of and celebrate the Mile, the present and the past,” said campaign founder Ryan Lamppa, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
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