In its simplist form, it's just four laps around a track. But mile road races are also springing up all across the country. Have you ever raced a mile? If not, maybe you can become part of the movement to bring it back!
Bring Back the Mile is a national movement organized to return the Mile to prominence on the American sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the distance. My friend Ryan Lamppa of Running USA is founder of the movement.
Go to this website to learn more about it, join the movement, sign a petition, look up past mile records, and watch the "I am the Mile" video. One day runners will hopefully be comparing their mile PRs as they do now with their marathon PRs!
By the way, I was honored to interview American miler Steve Scott as one of the 50 runners who provided his "best race" story for my recent eBook. No one in history has run more sub four-minute miles (137) than Steve!
WIth the days getting shorter, I am reminded how dangerous it is for runners to be out on the roads, especially at this time of year. And with Halloween just around the corner, I also worry about traffic accidents with children out Trick-or-Treating.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were a total of 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, the most recent year in which statisitics are available. A pedestrian, as defined in the report, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash.
While the statistics give no indication how many of those pedestrians were actually running or jogging, the message is clear: being safe when running on the roads is much more than just running in the direction against traffic, as we were always taught.
Here are some more sobering findings from the book called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt:
• Pedestrians think drivers can see them up to twice as far away as drivers actually do.
• Drivers often have no clue about how fast they are driving. In a study measuring the speed of drivers as they passed children waiting to cross a street, drivers thought they were going at least 12 mph slower than they actually were (i.e., they thought they were going 18-25 mph when they were actually doing 30-37 mph).
• During night driving, according to one expert, a driver would have to be going no more than 20 mph to ensure seeing every potential hazard in time to stop, including, say, a runner in reflective clothing.
• Above 20 mph, drivers begin to lose eye contact with pedestrians, and the chances of a pedestrian dying if hit by a car increase dramatically.