The Pearl Street Mile and the Colorado Springs Community Mile take to the streets Wednesday and Thursday!
I have to admit it. I'm more than a little interested in how the push to engage high schoolers in these mile-long street races is going to pan out.
Both the Pearl Street Mile in Boulder and the Colorado Springs Community Mile in Colorado Springs have lobbied hard this year for high school entries. I don't have any particular insight into how high school registrations are going according to race director expectations, but I do have a lot of interest.
Of course I have interest in the races, and the high school races in particular. I couldn't do what I do on a daily basis and not be interested in what we'll see over the next two days.
Assuming lightning and deluges stay away, the weather should be pretty close to ideal for both races. There's some reason to cross your fingers in both cases, though. Being optimistic about the cooperation of the weather, I'm definitely interested in what kind of times will turn up.
And, I'm interested from the perspective of a coach trying to get my own team ready for the official beginning of fall cross country practice on Monday.
While I can readily acknowledge that both races mean well, and I'm happy to spread the word of these events for folks who are interested in running, I can understand coaches, parents, and athletes being a bit reticent about the timing here. "Is this really the time of year I want to try to drop a PR mile on a hard surface?" The answer to that question differs by coach and by individual.
To be fair, both races more or less inherited the timing of their events. The Pearl Street Mile is a long-standing (20 year) August tradition in Boulder. And, honestly, high school runners have been mostly an afterthought throughout that history. Now, as the event jockeys for greater high school participation, the date that has served so well for so long starts to look like a bit of a liability.
The Colorado Springs Community Mile is more or less beholden to the Colorado Classic date that happens to pass through Colorado Springs. They wanted the mass of downtown spectators that the established elite bicycle race would provide. That more or less committed race management to a single date occupying a spot on the calendar four days before the opening of fall cross country practice.
I do plan to make it to the Colorado Springs Community Mile, set up my camera, and grab a few images. A quick review of entries indicates we'll see a nice cross section of high school talent entered in the event. Far from all of Colorado Springs' top high school miler types will be there, but a representative sampling will be.
I haven't found a means of tapping into a list of high school entries yet for the Pearl Street Mile, and entries are now closed for that event. Registration continues up until the morning of the 10th for the Colorado Springs Community Mile.
I'll get results posted here for both events as soon as they become available to me.