The race is slated for Aug. 16, the day before the famed Falmouth Road Race.
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A number of America’s best milers will take to the track on Cape Cod for the Aug. 16 Falmouth Mile, held on the eve of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. Men’s event record holder Jordan McNamara and 2012 Olympian Morgan Uceny headline the fields, which also include last year’s Falmouth Road Race runner-up Ben True and past mile winners Will Leer, David Torrence and Katie Mackey. The Falmouth Mile will celebrate its 19th year for men and 20th year for women.
En route to winning the 2011 title in 3:54.89, McNamara, 27, led 10 men under the four-minute barrier. The Nike Oregon Track Club Elite member has run 3:52.89 at the Pre Classic and won titles at the Nike Festival of Miles in Saint Louis (3:54.27) and GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh (4:02.45 on the road).
After recovering from a right foot injury last month, McNamara appears to be in fine form heading to Falmouth.
“Luckily things are going alright and hopefully I can just stay on the right direction,” McNamara told reporters after kicking to victory in the Run TrackTown USA High Performance Meet 1500m on July 26 in Eugene. His winning time was 3:39.03.
In her only previous appearance at the Falmouth Mile in 2009, Uceny placed third in 4:31.70. Now 29, Uceny’s personal best stands at 4:29.89, set earlier this year in Massachusetts at the Adrian Martinez Classic. The Cornell University graduate has also run 4:00.06 for 1500m.
Dropping down in distance is True, who last year came within two seconds of becoming the first American male to win the Falmouth Road Race since 1988. Less than two weeks ago, True placed third at the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, running a personal best of 27:51. Dipping under four-minutes by the slimmest of margins, True’s fastest mile, 3:59.99, came in 2007.
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Interestingly, lining up alongside True on Saturday will be training partner Sam Chelanga. This will be Chelanga’s first time ever racing a mile on the track.
Vying for their second event titles are Will Leer and David Torrence. Leer, the 2009 victor, set a personal best of 3:51.82 at the Morton Games on July 11, while Torrence—the 2012 champion—ran 3:53.95 at the Prefontaine Classic on May 31.
Garrett Heath, second to Nick Willis at Sunday’s Michigan Track Classic mile, returns after finishing eighth in 3:58.29 last year. Olympian Donn Cabral, newly sponsored Hoka One One athlete Kyle Merber, steeplechase specialist Cory Leslie and former Indiana University standout Danny Stockberger round out the men’s field.
On the women’s side, Brooks athletes Mackey and Gabe Grunewald look to claim the $2,000 first place prize. Mackey, 26, timed 4:41.39 to win last year’s event; if she wins this year, she’ll become the first back-to-back champion since Nicole Sifuentes won the 2010 and 2011 editions.
New Balance’s Stephanie Garcia has had a breakthrough season in the steeplechase this year, running 9:24.28. Now she’ll tackle the mile, hoping to break her 4:40.06 personal best from the 2011 Falmouth Mile.
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Sarah Brown, who last year raced at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, will compete, as will Brie Felnagle, Amanda Eccleston, Aisha Praught and Heidi Gregson. The women’s event record stands at 4:25.27, run by Suzy Favor Hamilton in 2002.
Attending the Falmouth Mile is free and open to the public, and will also feature youth, high school and wheelchair events.
PHOTO: Jordan McNamara after winning the 2014 Run TrackTown USA High Performance Meet 1500m in Eugene on July 26 (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly).