Although it is no longer an Olympic distance the mile race still attracts the participation of the middle distance runner and the interest of the public. The four minute mile looms large in our sporting heritage. Across the pond in our former colony the mile is still the premier event of collegiate athletics and many of the Power of 10 rankings, at least in the u23 and senior categories, emanate from runners who are in America on athletic scholarships.
NIRunning organised an evening of mile races last year. This was repeated in Antrim yesterday evening. Six of my training group, self included, attended the event. There were four races, based on predicted times. The weather conditions were fine save for the temperature, or rather the lack of it. The thermometer was reading five degrees centigrade, (forty one degrees Fahrenheit in real money). Not quite what one imagines to be the temperature for, "track and field."
No tremendous performances, but I did notice a few 5k runners who were having their first taste of track running. The quickest male runner ran 4.45 with the quickest female runner home in 5.42. Clearly the, "world best " was in no danger of being beaten, but it was an enjoyable preface to the forthcoming athletics season. It would be good if an end of season mile race could be organised. Hopefully by then I will be able to improve on my 5.16. Mind you the dear old age tables tell me that in six months time I will have slowed by some 1.25 seconds so the same time will actually be an improvement!