The Camel City Indoor Mile, part of the Bring Back the Mile campaign, is an elite mile race on JDL Fast Track’s 200m Mondo indoor track. JDL Fast Track has committed more than $4,000 in prize money available to the top three professional finishers, including time bonuses for breaking the “magical” 4:00.00 barrier.
“This race was conceived as a way to showcase our new facility and highlight the fact that it is truly a fast track,” said Craig Longhurst, facility director for JDL Fast Track. “I had a discussion with David Shannon, the owner of JDL Fast Track, about putting a race together. We looked at a number of different ways to make it work, discussed the concept with agents and athletes, and at the end of the day, David and I figured out a way to make it happen. We are very excited about the level of athletes we have coming to JDL Fast Track to compete in this event.”
The roster of professional athletes includes:
Peter van der Westhuizen – South African who competed for Nebraska collegiately and holds a 3:54.90 personal record (“PR”) in the mile. Currently lives and trains in Southern California;
Cory Leslie – attended Ohio State University and currently trains in Greenville, SC. Cory’s PR in the mile is 3:56.85;
Matt Lincoln – Canadian who attended Penn State University and holds a mile PR of 3:58.76. Currently lives and trains in Phoenix, AZ;
Matthew Elliott – Winthrop graduate who currently trains Rock Hill, SC. Matthew has a mile PR of 3:58.96;
Justin Marpole-Bird – Canadian who attended Stanford University and has a mile PR of 3:59.39. Lives and trains in Phoenix, AZ.
In addition to the professional athletes in the field, the race will also showcase collegiate athletes who will be looking to qualify for the NCAA indoor track and field championships. “There are new NCAA conversion factors that make our track very attractive to distance runners looking to qualify for the national meet,” Longhurst added. “As excited as I am about the professional athletes we were able to get, I’m just as excited about the collegians we have commitments from, as these guys have stellar resumes of their own.”
The roster of collegians includes:
Ryan Hill – NC State senior from Hickory, NC. Hill ran 3:58.33 indoors last year as a junior. Multiple All- American and school record holder at NC State;
Isaac Presson – UNC junior from Asheville, NC. Has a 1500m PR of 3:40.16;
Paul Chelimo – UNC-Greensboro sophomore from Kenya who was All-American in cross country in 2012. Has a 1500m PR of 3:40.25;
Alex Taylor – Appalachian State senior from Charlotte, NC. Has a 1500m PR of 3:42.29.
Prize money for the professionals will be awarded to the top three, provided the overall winning time is faster than 4:05.00. In that instance, first place will receive $1,500, second place receives $750 and third place receives $375. Additionally, if any of those top three breaks 4:00.00, they will receive an additional bonus of $500.
“Each of these athletes has the ability to break the 4:00 barrier in this race. We’ve tried to offer them every opportunity to do so, even bringing in a “rabbit” to lead them through the first half of the race. Heck, even the rabbit, Donnie Cowart, holds a 4:00.6 PR in the mile and was 4th place in the Olympic Trials steeplechase this past summer,” added Longhurst. “We still have a few open slots in the field, so the possibility exists for this field, at least collegiately, to get even better!”
About JDL Fast Track (http://www.jdlfasttrack.com) JDL Fast Track, one of the premier indoor track and field facilities in the southeast, is the brainchild of two former Wake Forest University runners and current real estate developers, David Shannon and Craig Longhurst, who identified and fulfilled a need for an area indoor track facility for use by colleges, high schools, local track clubs and youth track organizations. The privately owned, dedicated indoor track and field facility, which opened in January 2012, houses a 200-meter oval track with a Mondotrack FTX surface—the same surface that was used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Field event areas include two pole vault runways, two long/triple jump runways, one high jump apron and one throws area. The facility also includes a 100-meter warm-up track, office and meeting-room space, a training room, and hospitality suites for coaches’ or conference officials’ meetings at large events.