Mile News

Ottawa Brings Back the Mile!

September 24, 2013

On Thanksgiving Monday, October 14 in Ottawa, like an increasing number of cities in North America, the Mile is making a comeback.

By Geordie McConnell, Founder and Head Coach, Ottawa Running Club and Ottawa Triathlon Club

Two thousand years ago Roman warriors marched through Britain on their conquest, counting their steps. Every 1,000 paces (or two steps) the ground was marked, and called a Mile.

Two weeks ago, in Ottawa's Wellington Village neighborhood, a specially calibrated bicycle was ridden on the main street and there too the ground was marked, and it was called The Wellington Mile.

The Mile as a distance, was left orphaned some time ago in Canada and is now ready to be reclaimed as the classic running distance. In a culture that seems to crave volume over quality, running has been redefined over the last 20 years. The entry point to the running world is now seen as 5 kilometers and that is too long. Many will be daunted by that distance and decide that running is not for them. If every able bodied individual in our community had the health and fitness to jog one Mile (1609m), imagine the increase in our society's overall wellness. Why not train to jog a Mile, a much more attainable and sustainable distance? As your fitness increases, you will see that, at the same effort level, the time it takes you to cover the Mile will go down as your wellness goes up. If you need goals, there is none more challenging than running a faster Mile. Will you break through the 11 minute barrier, or 10 minutes, or even 6 minutes?

Upon entering the running world, participants are soon subject to a social pressure which, for some, can be deleterious; I call it 'Move Up Syndrome'. Once a runner has completed a given distance, a 5K for example, it is inevitable that a friend will press to know when they plan to 'move up' to the 10K. From 10K it's the half-marathon and then on to the marathon. I know an Olympic marathoner, someone who, we'll all agree, has found his niche. He was once asked when he would move up to the ultra marathon.

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Tags: wellington mile (1) , bbtm news (207)

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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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