(Long Island, NY) Premier Track and Field is returning to Long Island! Thanks to the partnership of Sayville and Smithtown Running Company with HOKA ONE ONE, we are proud to announce the birth of a new event: the HOKA ONE ONE Long Island Mile. On the evening of Wednesday, September 9th 2015, the world of professional running will head to St Anthony’s High School in Huntington, NY for an event that combines both the community and elite athlete’s love for running and racing. There will be a number of community races, culminating in a professional men’s and women’s heat where an international class of runners will pursue a sub 4:00 mile for the men and a sub 4:30 for women.
The meet is the brainchild of Kyle Merber, the professional miler for HOKA ONE ONE and former Half Hollow Hills West High School runner, as well as Brendan Barrett, co-founder of the Sayville and Smithtown Running Company. The meet directors have big hopes for the event, which they hope will help connect the local high school and road runners with some of the top 4-lappers in the world.
“Long Island high schools are filled with top-talent, amazing coaches, and competitive meets week in and week out. There are great college teams here, and the island is home to well over a dozen major running clubs. And we want to continue to help build the sport here from a grassroots level in a way that would benefit everyone. There is unbelievable participation on the roads each weekend, and now we want to bring it to the track” said the enthusiastic Merber who will be among the elites competing in the final race of the evening.
The last major mile race on Long Island was during the 1998 Goodwill Games at Mitchell Field in Uniondale, NY. That race saw Noureddine Morceli of Algeria clock a 3:53.39 for the full mile, and no race since has been run in under the magical 4-minute barrier.
“This is an opportunity for the local die-hard track fans to not only watch a world-class field compete in their own backyard, but to race on the same track. It’s going to be a fun, festival-like atmosphere aimed to celebrate Long Island running, and the sport at large” said Barrett, owner of local running shops Sayville Running Company and Smithtown Running Company.
The meet will only be 2-3 hours long, but with races for runners of all ages and abilities. Whether the goal is to break 12 minutes or 4, there will be heats to make it possible. Admission for spectators is only $5. The event will also be streamed live on RunnerSpace.com for free so fans from across the country can follow the action.
Merber has promised a full field of some of the country’s best runners, with the goal of chasing Morceli’s Long Island record. His personal best currently stands at 3:54.76, but he hopes there will be a string of guys fighting for it on the final homestretch with packed stands cheering.
“We have spent countless hours talking about what we can do to help the sport grow. And rather than just talking, we decided it was time to do something about it. Thanks to HOKA ONE ONE—It’s time to help!”
Elite Athletes with Confirmed Entry in the Long Island Mile:
- Kyle Merber-The Long Island native and meet director will be headlining the field he has put together. He boasts a 3:54 mile personal best and has run as quick as 3:34 for 1500m. He was a 3-time NYS Champion while a prep at Half Hollow Hills West, and he competed collegiately at Columbia University where he would set the American Collegiate Record at 1500m. This past May he ran the 1200 leg for the United States that would win gold at the World Relays and set the World Record.
- Ford Palmer-In the past year Palmer has set a personal best in the 800/1500/Mile/3000. His 3:36 1500m and 3:56 Mile rank him among the best in the country, as he finished in 5th place at the 2014 US Championships for 1500m. He is originally from Smithville, NJ and attended Monmouth University, but now trains alongside Kyle as a member of the New Jersey*New York Track Club.
- Riley Masters-In addition to being quite the 5k runner, holding a best of 13:17 in the event, the Maine native has some versatility. He has run as fast as 3:36 for 1500m and 3:56 for the mile. One of the most consistent runners on the professional scene, he has broken 4-minutes for a mile on 12 different occasions. Riley graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and now trains in Seattle, Washington as a member of the Brooks Beasts.
- Cristian Soratos- Fresh out of college at Montana State University, he burst onto the scene this year with a 10-second personal best to run a3:55 mile indoors. He would go on to finish 2nd at NCAAs that season where he ran one of the gutsiest races in collegiate history, dropping a 53.3 second 400 from 600 to 1000m into the race. He is originally from Salinas, CA and is now sponsored by Adidas.
- Heather Wilson – A New Yorker and graduate of Homer High School, Wilson would go on to compete at the University of Connecticut where she was a multiple time All-American as a Husky. After graduating she joined the New Jersey*New York Track Club and has run 4:07 for 1500m. At the beginning of August she broke the illustrious 4:30 barrier, with a 4:29 mile at the Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC.
- Amanda Eccleston – This 4:29 miler graduated from Hillsdale College in Michigan before heading to the University of Michigan to do her graduate work in Public Health. There she ran a personal best over 1500m of 4:08 and was a member of the National Championship in the Distance Medley Relay. She still trains in Michigan and represents Brooks.
- Rolanda Bell- The Queens native is a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and the University of Tennessee. There she was an All-American and member of the American, Collegiate and Penn Relays Record Championship 4 x 1500m team. She is currently in Beijing for the IAAF World Championships, competing in the 3000m Steeplechase for Panama, in which she holds a personal best of 9:47. She holds a personal best of 4:19 for 1500m and still lives and trains in New York.
- Charlotte Browning- Originally hailing from across the pond in Chichester, England, she came to the United States to compete collegiately at the University of Florida. There she won national titles in both the 1500m and the mile. Her bests are an impressive 4:09 and 4:31, and she is running professionally now for Hoka One One and trans in Oregon with Team Run Eugene.
As the Hoka One One Long Island Mile approaches, more of the international fields will continue to be released. In addition to watching the elites, fans are encouraged to sign up at LongIslandMile.com to come and run themselves in the all-comers races. Participants registered so far expect to run anywhere from the low 4 minutes up to 12 minutes or more, so runners of all ability levels are welcome.