Why running a Mile is so cool
"For me, there is nothing as tactical, beautiful, intense and painful as running an all out Mile."
By David Allison, Special to AFN
I know many of you who are into running enjoy the long stuff — half-marathons, marathons, ultra marathons, trail running and long distance team relays. Other than an ultra marathon (a race over 26.2 miles), I have raced all of these distances as well with a modicum of success. But if you ask me what distance I enjoy racing the most — and the key word is “racing” — it would be the Mile.
When I was a kid (in the ’70s and early ’80s) they still ran the Mile. This was then a feature event in a track meet like the 100 meters is today. And although the 4 minute Mile was broken by Sir Roger Bannister in 1954, the allure and intrigue of athletes breaking the 4 minute Mile, or seeing how fast they could run four laps around a track, seemed to still mesmerize the country and the world, for that matter. Names like Ryun I knew from hearing about his feats from the 1960s; Coe, Ovett, Cram and Scott had epic battles in 1980s; and Morceli and El Guerrouj showed the world in the 1990s how truly fast man could run a Mile by setting new world records with times of 3:44.39 and 3:43.13, respectively.
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