The race is the NC-USATF mile state championship race. It has drawn some incredible runners over the years. State records for men and women have been set at this race. Bobby Mack holds the course record of 4:10 set in 2009. The women's course record of 4:51 was set by former ECU Cross Country and Track runner Brittany Copeland in 2012. This years race was also a Bring Back the Mile Featured Event. Bring Back The Mile featured two events in North Carolina this year, the Sir Walter Miler and the Magnificent Mile Race.
I had not ran the race before but had heard great things about if from friends that have ran it. I've only done two, mile road races and they were on out and back courses. The course for the Magnificent Mile is a fast and flat course that starts on Hillsborough Street and goes to and around the North Carolina State Capital building and back down Hillsborough Street for the finish. I hadn't been doing any mile specific training as I have been training for the NC-USATF 10 miles state championship held on the American Tobacco Trail on October 25th. I still expected to be faster than my previous mile road races because the course was not an out an back.
Jamie and I arrived at the race around 1pm for the 2pm start for the men's competitive race. Afternoon races are weird for me because I'm not sure what to eat during the hours leading up to it and it's a lot of waiting for race time to finally arrive. Sleeping in was nice though and I had a good brunch at Jamie's parents house around 10pm. Shortly after arriving at the start I saw my friend Pat Price. He's ran 5:02 at this race in the past. Pat and I ran the course and then added on another mile for a 2 miles warm-up. There is a gradual uphill start for the first quarter mile but it is subtle.
I was surprised how many kids were still holding on that went out fast, some in front of me and some around me. The turns were congested and everyone was jostling for position around them to cut the tangents. Runners were using elbows to protect their space or make space to get through some of the congestion. I had to put my hands on a kids back that suddenly slowed in front of me before the half mile mark. I started working my way through the field and passing runners as we neared the half mile mark. I think I ran the first half in 2:34. I was feeling good and kept picking my way through some congestion.
The overall win went to Wilkerson Given in 4:11.3. Bobby Mack finished 3rd in 4:14.1. Bobby, Sandy Roberts (4:18.8), and Tibor Vegh (4:26.7) representing Capital RunWalk won the team category.
The women's race was next at 2:20pm. The top three women broke 5:00 with top honors going to Cristy Cazzola of Oshkosh, WI in 4:41.1. There was also a recreational mile and kids race.
I did a 2 miles cool-down with fellow Capital RunWalk teammates Elinor Angel and Ronnie Jones. They both ran PRs. There were a lot of impressive times in the age groups.