The inaugural Session at the Speedway is up in Smoke!
Start your engines; take your marks, go! Tuesday night was a scorcher at the Wake County Speedway – “America’s Favorite Bullring” – for the first ever Sir Walter Miler Session at the Speedway. Despite hundred degree temperatures on a classic North Carolina June day, close to seventy runners toed the line along the banked racetrack to go nearly a mile around. Nearly fifty of these runners made the bold choice to not stop there but to tackle the quarter, half, and two-mile distances as well.
The evening was started by an opening lap around the track holding a United States, North Carolina, and Raleigh flags by Pat Price, Sandy Roberts, and Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim to KISS’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. With the finish of the lap, we were ready to begin a warm and exciting night of racing.
Runners were split into five classes for the evening: A, B, C, D, or E. For the first mile race of the night D and E went off together in a spirited effort. For this race every step was uncharted territory around the steep pavement of the track, but the runners managed quite well. The story was the same for the B and C mile, which saw, once again, brave running from all competitors. In the A mile, however, things went tactical. The group of guys in Group A clearly had the team championship in mind as they felt each other out for the first three laps before fighting for every position around the final quarter. Christian Browne of the Bond Brothers team took this race in 4:28.7 followed by NCSU Club Track’s Spencer Husen in just over 4:30.
After getting a rest while the other miles went off, Group E took to the track for the quarter mile race. These races went in order by group and saw some truly awesome efforts to get to the line. The final race, the A Group saw the day’s first sub-60 efforts and was highlighted by Sarah Rapp making 68 seconds look easy, finishing carrying the denim checkered flag. Christian Browne, once again, took the win in 56.2 seconds, just edging out Sean Nicol of the NCSU Club team by two-tenths of a second.
Next to the track was the D and E groups for a two lap half mile. Including the B and C, as well as A group races that followed, these races all saw some very quick efforts as runners fought for position and wins. In this event Wade Miller juuuust stole one from Christian Browne in 2:09.1 and 2:09.5 respectively.
As the sun set and the lights came on at the Speedway, all of the runners changed directions to run eight clockwise laps around the track to finish the day. The two-mile race was more fun than it was competitive with the competitors just trying to get to the line after a hot day of racing. In the final event of the night, Wade Miller took a smashing win in 10:27.8 to Christian Browne’s 10:46.2.
In the overall standings Christian Browne’s consistency was too much for Wade Miller to overcome as he put up an outstanding combined total of six points based on place in each race. Wade Miller put up a still impressive eleven points and Quin Meyer of Durham snuck into third place overall with 21 points.
Mama, there goes that woman; Sarah Rapp cannot be stopped. She took the women’s title winning all but the quarter mile – which she lost by only a second. Her five points led the night and continued her dominance of Sir Walter events.
We do owe a shout-out to the legend that is James East who competed in every event, and running some really fast times, wearing full jeans. A brave task in the heat but he managed it incredibly.
Overall the night was a fun one in a unique venue in spite of the heat. The Raleigh running community was alive and well. Events got loud with spectator support, aided by the multi-heat format. Raleigh Denim came in clutch with their sponsorship and creation of the denim checkered flag for the race finishes. We can’t wait to come back even better for this event next year. Don’t forget, next week at Meredith College will be the Sir Walter Pop Up Miles Championship. We hope to see everyone there, until then, stay nutty Milers.