Fastest mile

New Zealand Fitness - - FROM THE EDITOR - Lor­raine Thom­son Pub­lisher / Edi­tor High­est read­er­ship of fit­ness mag­a­zines in New Zealand. – Roy Mor­gan Re­search, June 2014.

It is amaz­ing what a new pair of high-tech run­ning shoes and the lat­est run­ning ap­parel can do. I am writ­ing this af­ter com­pet­ing in a Fastest Mile event put on by Nike. Nike reg­u­larly put on chal­leng­ing and some­what mys­te­ri­ous events, em­a­nat­ing from their Nike Brit­o­mart store in Auck­land. Nike might be one of the world’s well-known sportswear com­pa­nies, but the fo­cus of the Nike Brit­o­mart store is very much on this cor­ner of the world. The store, the first in New Zealand to open un­der the Nike name, is the base for a lo­cal run club and a lineup of fit­ness events.

To­day, along with other me­dia and sport­ing pro­fes­sion­als, we were trans­ported by a pro­ces­sion of Maserati chauf­feur-driven cars to an un­known des­ti­na­tion. Yes, that’s right, we had turned up to the Nike store, hav­ing re­ceived a par­cel of new Nike run­ning at­tire – and had no idea where we were go­ing.

Along­side my­self in the car was a young man who had run a sub-four minute mile and a young lady who was train­ing full time in long jump – hope­fully eye­ing the Olympic Games next year. As it turned out we were driven to Ard­more Air­port in South Auck­land. We ar­rived just be­fore two bus­loads of Nike run­ning club en­thu­si­asts.

It was a rainy grey day and so not the best run­ning con­di­tions, but af­ter a se­ries of warm-up ex­er­cises, we were lined up on the run­way ac­cord­ing to our es­ti­mated one-mile run­ning times.

Hav­ing not timed my­self pre­vi­ously for one mile, I re­ally had no idea and so just lined up with other non­plus run­ners. My previous run­ning en­deav­ours had been more long-dis­tance marathon events and so to run flat out for what trans­lated as 1.6km, was a new ex­pe­ri­ence.

I was not alone, how­ever, as I no­ticed some slow run­ners be­hind me, ac­tu­ally cut­ting the cor­ner, ie turn­ing around well be­fore the half­way turn-around point. Good on them, I thought, at least they were giv­ing it a go. As I ran down the home straight I could sense another run­ner from be­hind mak­ing an at­tempt to catch up to me – and so that spurted me on to re­ally “bust my guts” and make sure that didn’t hap­pen.

To re­ceive the gold medal with So Fast en­graved on it at the end was like the icing on the cake – mak­ing the day so worth­while. My thoughts of all the hard work now be­ing over, how­ever, were soon dis­pelled. All of the par­tic­i­pat­ing run­ners then had to get into re­lay teams and run up and down the run­way [half the dis­tance this time] to see who was the fastest team.

The mas­sage tent at the con­clu­sion, need­less to say, was one pop­u­lar place. Stretched out on the mas­sage ta­ble, pro­vided the per­fect medium to re­flect on the fastest mile.

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