C’mon, you know you want to bust out a mile – the Montague Mile is Sunday night

This Sunday’s Montague Mile, which is presented by the Charleston Marathon, has the potential for being a really fun – and vastly different – kind of running event.

First the details, then an interview with Charleston Marathon’s Howie Schomer on how it came about.

The schedule

5:00pm – Kid’s mile (14 and under)
5:20pm – High School mile (15-18)
5:40pm – Females Mile (19 – 39)
6:00pm – Females Masters Mile (40&above)
6:20pm – Men’s Mile (19-39)
6:40pm – Men’s Masters Mile (40&above)
7:00pm – Elite Mile (invitational)

Awards

Top 3 Men & Women in each age group, and Masters, Grand Masters and Sr. Grand Masters in Masters Division.

How much?

Pre-registration is $20/$30 with shirt
Walk-up is $30/shirt $15 (sizes not guaranteed)

All proceeds benefit the Youth Endowment for the Arts (YEA),
which provides arts program funding to Charleston County Schools.

Late Registration/Packet Pick-up

Starts at 2pm in Park Circle at the Community Center – 4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, SC 29405

What’s in it for me (besides finding out your mile time)?

  • Chip timed
  • Awards Plaques for top 3 in age groups
  • One free beer at finish
  • Live entertainment by Weigh Station

Starts on E. Montague Avenue at Mixon Avenue and finishes on E. Montague Avenue near O’Hear Avenue, or in front of Dig in the Park – which is where you can watch the other mile races from.

Parking

Plenty of parking at North Charleston High School, closer to the finish of the race. Since the roads will be blocked  at Park Circle to accommodate for our race, you may not be able to exit until the end of the event.

How did it come about?

This is Howie Schomer’s brainchild ….

So I’ve had all kinds of race ideas in the back of my head and the mile was certainly one of them.

I remember how much fun it was to run the King Street mile years ago and then to watch the other flights  - especially the elites.

The funny thing is though, that this all started out as a 10K. Years ago I had this idea to run a 10K down Rivers Ave on a Sunday evening in the summer, and having it finish at Northwoods Mall –  then have kind of a “taste of North Charleston” in the Mall parking lot.

The race being modeled after events like the Midnight flight in Anderson or the Crazy 8′s in Kingsport. I wanted to call it the 52 pickup (running down hwy 52). I mentioned it to a few of the Charleston Marathon board members and the response was underwhelming so I just kept it in the back of my mind. 

 The 10k came up again with Charles Foxs’ urging to bring it back the to the Marathon festival, but I really think the 10k caused more potential problems than it was worth.

We decided to look at a 10k at a different time of the year and the 52 pickup came up again. Kyle, Liz and I met to discuss a possible new 10K race and threw out some ideas.

Right around that time Charles had written to us  saying he wished we would do an event to feature the old Power House on the Shipyard since its days are numbered. We than started thinking of routes in that area with a potential block party kind of finish. I thought maybe this would be a good way to incorporate a mile race into this separate festival. Mentioning the Mile got Kyle (Lahm) and Liz (Alford) really excited and soon we had thrown the 10K out altogether. 

 One of the things that possibly led to the King St. Mile’s demise,was possibly the disruption of business on lower King for an extended period of time. (I don’t know this for sure as I’ve heard many different stories).

The Park Circle area on Sunday evenings is particularly dead, so an influx of people can only be a good thing for the few businesses that are open.

Another problem with a mile event is the profitability. You can’t charge 10k or even 5k fees to run 1 mile, but the expenses are pretty much the same. My thought was, that with the financial success so far with the marathon, we could take a chance on putting on an event with little margin for error, without cutting corners on quality, and not worry too much if we initially just break even.

Hopefully, the event will be successful enough that we’ll be able to bring in sponsors down the road. Since the marathon and the mile will both benefit the Youth Endowment for the Arts, we eventually want to turn a profit.

 As for the race itself, it will be modeled after many city road mile races including King Street.

There will be flights for youth, open, masters and elites. I enjoy showcasing the local elite talent and they will be running their flights after everyone else has finished so everyone can watch. This was the most fun part of the few road miles I’ve participated in.

I think the non-runner or recreational runner can relate to the times that these guys and girls can run because although a lot of people have no idea what a “good” 10k time is, or what pace the top athletes are running, everyone knows what a “good” mile time is and it’s a real exciting thing to watch superior athletes running all out.

I eventually want to move the event back to August, having it be kind of a kick-off event for the summer racing series. Warm weather isn’t so much a factor for a mile run and actually is probably a positive. We just didn’t have the time this year to do a summer event.

 

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