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William C. Altreuter
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

I hadn't realized that US high schools have abandoned the mile. There are iconic distances in track, and the mile is absolutely one of them. The 100 is the hundred-- meters or yards it is still the metric by which we determine the the fastest. 26.2 is the marathon-- an oddly arbitrary distance that has become the standard for endurance. In between there are other classic races-- the 440, or it's metric cousin, the 400-- is the longest sprint; and both the 5k and the 10k are worthy tests. The mile though-- nobody says "I'm a 1500 man." If you are tough enough for the race you are a miler. That extra nine meters. Roger Bannister. Marty Liquori. Jim Ryun. Mary Slaney. Eamonn Coghlan. Pavo Nurmi. Hell, Alan Webb. I was a (terrible) miler, but even though I was probably better suited for another distance the mile was all I cared about. Bring Back the Mile!

| Comments:
Where's Sebastian Coe, I mean Lord Coe, when you need him? Well, the NYRRC still does the Fifth Avenue Mile, and NSW Cancer Council has their event on Sydney's "Hungry Mile" (which won't last, I guess, now that it's the Barangaroo development site).
 
I forgot Coe, and I oughtn't have. Does NYC still do the Fifth Avenue Mile? That was a blast. Buffalo has one, but the last one I did is probably the last one I'm ever going to do-- it was tough going flat out, and that's what I was doing-- I couldn't have gone faster if I were sprinting. All I had was all there was, and there wasn't much of that.
 

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