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Bring Back The Mile is Revitalizing America’s Distance, One Mile At A Time

April 9th, 2014

Those of you who follow us at the ‘House closely will know our support of Bring Back The Mile (BBTM), a movement to promote and celebrate one of the most iconic, yet forgotten, events in track and field, the mile – 1609.34 meters of pure running glory (and no, not those Meters).

Though the mile is one of the most recognized races in American culture (c’mon, like EVERYBODY knows about Roger Bannister being the first to break 4 minutes in the mile), the event has been overshadowed by the more…convenient…1600m and the internationally competed 1500m. BBTM seeks to change this, putting what is perhaps the most relatable distance to the American public, back in the spotlight.

In an interview with the IAAF’s Spikes Magazine, BBTM founder Ryan Lamppa discusses the movement and the recent successes that his movement has experienced in its first two years of existence.

Here in America we eat, sleep and think in miles. Not kilometres. The distance is deeply embedded in our culture,” says Lamppa. “We are not trying to insult the British by calling it ‘America’s Distance’. Great Britain is the ‘home of the mile’.

The movement has captured the attention and support of American middle-distance greats Steve Scott and Jim Ryun along with current stars Leo Manzano, Jenny Simpson and Matt Centrowitz. In addition, BBTM kicked off their inaugural Grand Prix Tour this year – a calendar of elite-level track meets featuring the mile, with a hefty $85,000 total prize purse.

Lamppa relates BBTM to a four lap race, now three laps in and ready to kick strong through the fourth.

The first two laps went as well as we could have expected,” says Lamppa. “We are looking for a substantial foothold that will allow us to develop more. We think four years is long enough to be able to know whether the project is established and long term.

If successful, look out for more BBTM events, and possibly even mainstream media coverage, in the near future. In the meantime, check out the Bring Back The Mile website for more information on the movement.

As a side note, we here at the ‘House are one of the sponsors of the BBTM Grand Prix Tour. A “Pick-The-Winner” contest coinciding with every tour stop gives you the chance to win a $50 Running Warehouse gift certificate. The next tour stop is the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on May 8th, so stay tuned. For more information check out the Bring Back The Mile Tour page.

One mile at a time.

[Banner via NY Times]

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