In the history of foot racing, the mile run has always been looked upon as one of the most[more] prestigious distances competed. Racing it well requires the ultimate mix of speed and endurance.
Down through the years runners of all ability levels have used the mile distance as a standard measure of fitness. Its popularity really began in 1954 when Roger Bannister became the first human to run the mile in less than four minutes. Since then, the world record for men has dropped to 3:43.1 and the world record for women is 4:12.5.
In high school at North Little Rock, Bryant Hornets head cross county and track coach Steve Oury excelled in the event. Oury won the 1985 Arkansas 5A State Title in the mile with a personal best of 4:18.8. At Bryant the school record is 4:19.6 for boys and 5:18.3 for girls.
This Saturday, Sept. 24, the Bryant cross country and track program will host a Magic Mile Festival at Bryant High School Stadium to celebrate the mile run and fitness in general.
“With the weather cooling off, and our athletes beginning to reach a higher level of fitness, the Bryant cross country coaching staff thought a “magic mile” festival would be something neat to fill in for the loss of the Conway meet on the schedule,” explained Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook.
The Bryant High School team was originally scheduled to run in a meet at Conway on Saturday. Instead they will host the Festival, which will include several grade-level mile races. Awards will be given to the top eight finishers in each race.
“This will be an opportunity for parents to see runners throughout the entirety of the race, which is usually not possible in a normal cross country race,” Westbrook mentioned. “A lot of athletes will receive awards, and with each race only being four laps of the track, the meet should not take long to complete.
“It is our hope, that regardless of whether an athlete wins an award, they can all be motivated to pursue their own personal record in the mile,” he added. “They can also take pride in the fact that, by just having participated, they have shared in the legacy of this magical race."
Races will commence at 9 a.m., with a rolling schedule, in the following order:
7th Grade Girls Magic Mile
7th Grade Boys Magic Mile
8th Grade Girls Magic Mile
8th Grade Boys Magic Mile
Freshman Girls Magic Mile
Freshman Boys Magic Mile
High School Girls (White Division) Magic Mile
High School Boys (White Division) Magic Mile
High School Girls (Blue Division) Magic Mile
High School Boys (Blue Division) Magic Mile
Immediately following each race, there will be an awards ceremony for the top eight finishers.