This race is a salute to the historical allure of the one mile run. Most runners, along with the general public, are familiar with the first sub 4 minute mile run by the late Sir Roger Bannister. On May 6, 1954, Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. That race, some 64 years ago, set a standard to which high school, college and professional runners continue to aspire to this day.
Typically, runners experience the one mile run only as part of a track meet. Most often at a high school or college track team event. This race will not be run on a standard 400 meter track but rather at a unique venue.
Runners will negotiate approximately two laps around one of America’s iconic auto race tracks…The Martinsville Speedway. Built in 1947, the track continues 70 years later as a major stop on the NASCAR circuit, hosting the STP 500 and the First Data 500 Monster Energy Cup races. They will finish their race at the same checker board finish line used for auto races.
There are a number of “road miles” conducted throughout the country and they provide runners a diversion from the many typical 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, etc. Notable are the 5th Avenue Mile and the BAA Invitational Mile which attract world class athletes and pay large purses to the winners. On a more local note, Blacksburg’s Draper Mile was run for the 36th time in 2017, attracting 336 participants.
Runners generally enjoy the opportunity to test their optimum mile speed. The reason is simple. One’s best time in the mile is a good predictor of how fast one can run longer road races with proper training. For example, based on several well-known running calculators, if you can run a 7:00 mile, you can likely run a 23:30-24:00 5K. If you can run a 6:00 mile, it would predict potential for a 20:00-21:00 5K.
The race(s) will be conducted in several categories. There will be “faster” heats for men and women and “moderately paced” heats for men and women, all based on predicted finish times. There will be a separate race for children under 12 years of age.
Awards will be given for top three overall Male/Female Winners in each category and for top three in Male/Female Age Groups.
Speedway stands and infield will be open to spectators, free of charge. Runners and spectators are encouraged to park in Display Parking lot and enter speedway through Gate 4 or the Infield Tunnel at Gate 8 near Turn 4.