Sir Walter Miler - Track Elites Compete in Local Race, New Women's World Record Set in Denim Mile 

It's not often you see a women's world record broken. On Friday night the world record for the fastest denim mile run by a woman was smashed on the track of Meredith College as part of the Sir Walter Miler races. With an exciting line-up of denim runners, local running teams tackling the 4x400 relay, and a talented line-up of men's and women's elites, it was a great stage for world records and chasing the sub-4:00 mile time.

Spectators gather before the start of Sir Walter Miler races

Runners warm up on the track

The Raleigh Denim Mile

Sponsored by Raleigh Denim and Citius Mag, the Raleigh Denim Mile was a spectacle of athletic feats in 100% cotton denim. With a first place finish by Alex Boseman (4:37.72) and a new world record by Heather Wilson (4:58.84) the top male and female racers went home styling a new pair of Raleigh Denim jeans (which, after buying my third pair of Raleigh Denim recently, makes me think I should start training for a fast mile!)

Men's competitors in the Raleigh Denim Mile.

Heather Wilson set a new world record for the fastest denim mile run by a female runner (4:58.84)

Local Groups in 4x400 Relays

The first heat of the 4x400 relay was comprised of local running groups with a strong showing of Fleet Feet groups (Carrboro, Raleigh, and Morrisville), and Bull City to represent Durham amid a deep field of Raleigh runners. The second heat consisted mostly of beer running groups, with groups based out of Bond Brothers and Fullsteam among others. Summer of Miles (of the Summer of Miles podcast) took first place in the Triangle Clash Mile Relay, while the Nog Run Club defended their title in the Brewery Run Battle Mile Relay.

Triangle Clash Mile Relay

Triangle Clash Mile Relay

Triangle Clash Mile Relay

Beer Run Relay

A runner with the Nog Run Club, winner of the 2017 beer run relay

Women's Elite Mile

And then the elites took to the track. Now in its fourth year, the Sir Walter Miler has offered an intimate setting for Raleigh runners to watch men and women elites take the track and chase the incredible goals of sub-4:30 mile for women and sub-4:00 mile for men. While the arrival of an ambulance resulted in a late start for the women's elite, the sub-4:30 mile was tantalizingly close with the first place finish of 4:31.72 by Amanda Eccleston, followed by Steph Garcia (4:31.87) and Kate Van Buskirk (4:32.11).

Cheering for the elites

Sarah Rapp gives high fives before the start of the women's elites race

Kate Van Buskirk gives high fives before the start of the women's elites race

Kate Van Buskirk in third place

Steph Garcia in second place

Amanda Eccleston in first place

Men's Elite Mile

The men's elite crushed the sub-4:00 mile goal, with the top nine finishers completing the race in under four minutes. Drew Hunter finished first (3:57.32) followed closely by Pfafftown, North Carolina native Craig Engels (3:57.67) who celebrated his first sub-4:00 mile, and Izaik Yorks in third place (3:58.57). Three other men achieved their first sub-4:00 miles, earning the $250 bonus prize for their achievements. 

Avery Martin warms up before the race

Craig Engels of North Carolina warms up before a home crowd

Andrew Colley gives high fives before the race

Drew Hunter gives high fives before the race

Izaik Yorks in third place

Craig Engels in second place

Drew Hunter in first place

Men's elites sub-4:00s

The Sir Walter Miler was an exciting start to the fall running season in the Triangle, and inspired runners from young cross-country aspirants to aging recreational marathoners and everyone in between. Having completed its fourth year, the Sir Walter Miler will return to Raleigh in August 2018.

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