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NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS 2016 – “are you a MILER?” is the call to run

East and West Coast “RUN A MILE TOUR” set to get rolling in April at track meets and other events leading up to RUN A MILE DAYS events at schools across the U.S.

2016 “are you a MILER?” Campaign: Last spring’s RUN A MILE events were a big hit from Gig Harbor, Washington to Grove City, Pennsylvania. American Running’s NATIONAL RUN A MILE DAYS (NRAMD) Campaign gained momentum with new schools in Iowa City, Iowa along with schools and groups in Georgia, North Carolina, California and New Hampshire to name a few. One question was answered loudly and in the affirmative; “ARE YOU A MILER?” Children from kindergarten to 8th grade joined classmates to show that running the mile can be that first step to fitness. Our growth has been fueled by word of mouth from school to school. In Iowa City, PE teachers heard about the no-cost MILER Day at other elementary schools in their school district. Calls and emails were made and now plans in 2016 will show a 25% increase in the number of students participating in the NRAMD events in May. For those of you in communities who want to add your school to our sponsored group of schools or to be involved and still receive guidance and some material support, here is the ideal “model” for a school or group in the RUN A MILE DAYS Campaign:

Gaining Support. One way to start is for a local parent or in the case of AMAA or ARA, a physician in the town or community to approach a leader at the school. Offer to volunteer as a coordinator for an event that involves the entire school and is of “no cost” to the school. The volunteer brings up key elements of the RUN A MILE Program and what American Running can provide: posters, training programs in print and online forms, flyers, a banner for the school and t-shirts for all participating students.

Identify the lead Staff Member at the School. The lead PE teacher is often the best person for an NRAMD event. The ARA staff needs the name, address, contact phone number and email address. This allows the staff to provide all materials and updates on plans in a fast and efficient manner.

SELECT a “RUN A MILE DAYS” DATE. Everything on the planning side works backwards from the event date. The American Running staff will look be able to see if one of the two “TOUR VANS” can make an onsite visit. The production of t-shirts is moved along once we have all event dates in-hand as well.

Training Program. We will provide a training plan that has been oriented to the mile and the time constraints many schools’ classrooms have each day. In addition, the plans are broken down into 3 class groups: K – 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, and 6th – 8th grade. These are 8-week training plans but many schools can start as late as week 6 to get a class ready to run a mile.

MILER EVENT – How to run the MILE on the “event day”. There is one proven operation or concept that has worked best at other school’s MILER DAY. Use the PE Classes to run the mile. If a school has PE spread over 2 days, then schedule the event over two days. Each PE class comes outside the school and runs the mile on the designated mile track or course. Some schools have a measured mile loop while others have either ¼ mile track or a ¼ mile or 400m oval on grass on the grounds of the school. A second method has worked well when the Principal or lead administrator decides that he or she wants the Mile to be completed in one day. That requires the Principal or Lead person to set up a schedule of classrooms over the course of the day. We advise doing groups every 45 minutes.

PR and Promotion. Have a parent or assistant PE Teacher take photos of the event. American Running and the RUN A MILE DAYS Staff will post photos (without identifying students names) on the site and for other post-event e-newsletters. Each school can send out photos and a story to local media as well. ARA will provide logos and other event images for each school to use as they wish.

EAST & WEST COAST TOUR. We have two “VAN TOURS” in the works again in 2016. Unfortunately we are unable to fit in drives to the Midwest at the present time, but we are looking to add a sponsor and have a team in 2017. For those of you on the East Coast and within an 8 hour drive of Washington DC and have committed for 2016, contact Dave Watt at to gain a spot on the MILER TOUR EAST. The west coast MILER TOUR is headquartered out of Portland Oregon. Email Dave with interest and he will put you in touch with our West Coast Partner, Dan Kesterson of Youth Runner Magazine.

ARE YOU INTERESTED? We tentatively have an April 1st deadline to be sign up and be eligible to be a sponsored school or community group. Contact Maria Kolanowski via email today if you or an associate want to confirm a school or group ---- (Subject line – MILE DAYS 2016 Interest)


The Joint AMAA-BAA Sports Medicine meeting is slated for the two days prior to the Boston Marathon on April 16-17 at The Colonnade Hotel. Premier speakers and topics highlight the schedule once again.

We welcome any physician, healthcare professional (PT, DC, RN, ATC, Massage therapist, Dry Needling therapist and others) to attend. Members of the BAA Medical Team who are interested in attending can contact Chris Troyanos who coordinates the BAA Medical Team or Barbara Baldwin of AMAA –

Click the Agenda below for PDF version


Track & Field Rules: Judgment calls and enforcement. I recently attended the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Field Center in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Most major Division 1 Conferences in the NCAA compete at banked 200m tracks, which is the standard in indoor track for Division 1 competition. Neighboring Boston College of the ACC was the host school. If anyone has been at a track meet you are aware of infractions or events that could cause a competing athlete to be disqualified from an event. The most visible and prominent is a false start. Several years ago the governing body of track & field at the international level changed the false start rule to what is referred to as the “one and done” rule. If a competitor commits a false start, he or she is removed from that event. No warning or warning is made to the field. There are several other rules that can results in a disqualification (DQ) and these tend to be rare and involve a judgment call by one of the field officials or the head referee.

Shannon Morton in the Lead

One DQ and the only DQ called was in the Women’s’ Mile Final (besides the Auto-call DQs in false starts. Virginia Tech’s Shannon Morton took the lead on the first of 8 laps and was either in the lead or exchanging it with one or two others in the first 6 or so laps. There was some normal bumping among the competitors but no one saw any moments or moves in the race that could be constituted a disqualification. With 2 laps to go Morton makes a move to take the lead. She holds it at the “Bell” (signifying the last lap) and battles with a Duke Runner (Banks) into the final curve. Banks surges ahead and wins by 0.08 seconds to capture the ACC Women’s’ Mile Championship. Morton takes the silver. Within 10 minutes we hear that Morton has been disqualified for interference on another runner causing her to break stride.

Officials would not look at independent videos. They identified two different points in the mile race where Morton is issued a DQ. The officials would not budge and insisted that the correct call was made. What is the result? An athlete who took 2nd place in a top 6 time nationally that would have secured her a spot at NCAA FINALS is now out of consideration for a post-season meet berth. On top of that, she loses a school record run and the silver medal.

What is the beef? Talking to coaches at the meet, none could recall all season where a track official had called interference or obstructing the path of another runner. Why is there this feeling that meet officials at Championship events choose to be more vigilant and aggressive in calling DQs.

The answer: add videotapes to the finish line and on each turn. Let officials review the videos after a race if that can answer the question, did a foul occur?

Fortunately the disqualified athlete was able to enter a “Last Chance” Meet the following day. Shannon Morton not only qualified for NCAA FINALS but reset the VT school record.

–Dave Watt

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