2015 TC 1 Mile Race Recap – Wet. Windy. Fast. Fun!
Hometown sweetheart and grand dame of the road mile Heather Kampf kicked to a decisive victory in the 2015 TC 1 Mile (register for 2016 here!), breaking the tape in 4:45.4. The rainy weather, new course and threat of protests had nothing on Kampf, whose lead only seemed to grow as she cruised into the heart of the theater district. Former University of Michigan teammates took the rest of the podium. Rebecca Addison finished second in 4:45.6, and Amanda Eccleston came in 3rd at 4:48.3.
The men’s race was decided much closer to the tape. With just over 200 meters to go, the men approached the finish line in a tight pack. Winona native Garrett Heath accelerated with about 100 meters to go and took the win in 4:08.3. Jeff See finished second in 4:09.4, and Trevor Dunbar took third in 4:10.1.
Among the rest of the pack, the post-race recaps were mixed. The new course, which began at the Parade Athletic fields near Dunwoody College of Technology, rose sharply as it passed by the Basilica of St. Mary, and flattened out just past Minneapolis Community and Technical College, was credited for slower-than-expected times.
Many noted the challenge of clearly seeing the finish line, but knowing one still had just over a quarter mile to go. Kampf noted this in the elite athlete press conference, surmising that the visibility of the finish line on the new course would lead to many early kicks.
The new course was not the only difficulty for the runners. Due to the threat of protests in downtown Minneapolis, Twin Cities in Motion made the difficult decision to move up the start times of waves and combined several waves.
The Friends and Family wave started at 6:50 as planned, followed by the Corporate Team Challenge at 7:00 pm. The Masters wave, Open wave and USATF MN Team Circuit wave were combined to start at 7:10. The Pro Men’s Wave began at 7:22, followed by the Pro Women at 7:24.
Twin Cities in Motion allowed a final wave, for anyone who did not receive the communication about the earlier start times.
Despite the rain, new course, and earlier start times, there were plenty of smiles around the finish line. Among the typical coughing and gasping for air, runners were sharing their experiences and thanking law enforcement and volunteers for their help and their time. The finishing chute was packed with spectators who, upon finishing their own races, stuck around to cheer for the elites.
My Own Race
I first ran the TC 1 Mile in 2007. After hovering around 7 minutes for several years, and as a member of a USATF MN Team Circuit team who did not want to come in last, I decided to actually train for the TC 1 Mile last year. After years of chasing marathon PRs, I relished the short, fast workouts and was excited to test myself and see what could happen. Then the race was cancelled due to severe weather.
I was really looking forward to the race this year, and felt strangely optimistic and giddy about the weather forecast and the new course. How bad could it be? I thought. Well, pretty bad as it turns out. My “A” goal for this year was a 6:45, with a “B” goal of sub-7. I was a little thrown off by the early start and combining of the USATF MN wave with others, but I still got in a good warm-up of jogging, drills and strides.
I hit the first quarter in 1:39, right on target. But as soon as I hit the rise in front of the Basilica (which felt like a mountain), the wheels came off. Way too early. And I panicked. I tried to keep it together, but my split shows the truth – 2:06 for the second quarter. Yikes.
I recovered a bit at the half, and managed to pick it back up, with splits of 1:53 and 1:52 for the last two quarters. The cheering crowd definitely helped. Overall, I’m disappointed with my time and only somewhat-less disappointed with my effort. The beautiful, horrible, strange, and fantastic thing about racing a mile is that there is no room for error. No time to recover. As my friend Robyn Reed pointed out, “You can’t think; you just have to do.”
Despite my disappointment, this won’t the be the last time I race a mile. The 2015 TC 1 Mile makes me want do it MORE! I know I have that 6:45 in me, and I can’t wait to unleash it!
“It All Begins With the First Mile”
The TC 1 Mile is a great race for anyone just starting out in running, or veteran runners looking to test their leg speed. The mile is fast, but not an all-out sprint, so finding that balance of speed and endurance is enticing. It definitely makes for an exciting experience!
If you’re inspired or even intrigued, you don’t have to wait until next year to race a mile. The Richard A. Hoska Midsummer Mile is on July 8th at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.