Still hanging on to the holiday excitement of Flagstaff’s Fourth of July running fun, here is a recap of Tuesday morning’s Downtown Mile and Four on the Fourth events … by the numbers.
1 – This was the first year that the Downtown Mile had a wheelchair exhibition race. Also, ranking of Flagstaff for U.S. city with the best Fourth of July running scene (as chosen by yours truly; ranking is purely speculative and unscientific).
2 – Number of photo finishes at the Downtown Mile (Anthony Masayesva nipping Peter Lomong in the men’s elite race, and Greg McMillan edging Will Drexler and Tom Clarke in the men’s master’s race). Also, the number of Four on the Fourth victories by Katie Landry, the first double-winner in that event’s history.
3 – Number of new division records at the Downtown Mile (McMillan, Jeanne Mack in the women’s citizen’s race, and Allen Fowler in the men’s citizen’s). Also, number of women in the top three finishers at the Four on the Fourth.
4 – The races were on the Fourth of July. Duh.
6 – It was the sixth annual Downtown Mile.
9 – It was the ninth annual Four on the Fourth. Also, there were nine different head starts represented in the top 10 finishers of the race, indicating the goal of the race – parity – is working nicely.
29 – My best guess, in years, of the last time I ran a competitive timed mile before Tuesday’s Downtown Mile. From talking with other master’s participants, I am not alone in such a discouragingly high estimate.
46– Number of entrants at the Four on the Fourth.
98-- Pounds of nonperishable goods donated by runners at the Four on the Fourth race.
100 -- First-place prize money, in dollars, for the Downtown Mile elite men’s and women’s winners.
138 – Number of entrants in the women’s citizen’s race, the most-participated-in event on Tuesday morning.
363 – Previous record for number of entrants in the Downtown Mile, set in 2015.
574 – Number of entrants in the 2017 Downtown Mile, a 58-percent increase from the 2015 mark.
Numbers aside, you can expect a return to a more qualitative approach in upcoming High Country Running columns the rest of the summer. We all know the Flagstaff running community is in literal and figurative motion. Especially at the elite level, people are coming and going all the time. Even by those standards though, this summer has seen an unusually high number of top runners who made a significant impact over many years leaving town for the same life reasons any of us make moves.
At the Downtown Mile on Tuesday, race director Vince Sherry gave shout-outs to three of those five because Team Run Flagstaff Pros Danny Mercado, Andrew Benford and Nick Hilton have been major cogs in the smooth-operating Run Flagstaff Timing crew.
Two other pros, Tyler Jermann and Andrew Lemoncello, round out this quintet, all of whom have agreed to write farewell columns. As you will see, Flagstaff made a significant impact on them as well. The first of these will come next week from Jermann, the shortest-tenured Flagstaffian in the bunch, but one who does an elegant job of describing what young and hungry running stars face in this friendly but competitive town.
Look for their columns in the weeks ahead, as you continue putting on the training miles for Imogene Pass Run, the final three Summer Run Series races, the Flagstaff Marathon and whatever other events push you forward.