Press Release

Press Release: The Nash UNC Health Care Rocket Mile hits year five with National and State Championships on the line

The Nash UNC Health Care Rocket Mile hits year five with National and State Championships on the line

April 27, 2018 – Rocky Mount, North Carolina – Now in its fifth year, the Nash UNC Health Care Rocket Mile returns to the streets of Downtown Rocky Mount on Sunday, May 6th at 2pm as the Road Runners Club of America National Championship, and the United States Track and Field – North Carolina State Championship. Boasting $1550 in prize money in the Mens and Womens Competitive races, and separate kids races that highlight endurance clubs from Benvenue, Englewood, Nashville, Red Oak, Spring Hope, and Swift Creek, the event has become an annual for celebration for those from five to eighty five.

“Rocky Mount is the perfect location for a fast road mile! We are excited to continue the excellent tradition of this race as we highlight the revitalization of Downtown Rocky Mount, and celebrate the history of the mile,” said Sandy Roberts, co-founder of Sir Walter Running, and course record holder. “We’re also excited that Nash UNC Health Care has returned as the title sponsor.”

“Nash UNC Health Care is proud to support the Rocket Mile, promoting health and wellness in our community,” said Lee Isley, Nash UNC Health Care president and CEO. “We are looking forward to a fun afternoon celebrating runners of all levels.”

Along with the longtime title sponsor, the event has attracted new sponsors each year, as few races are as family friendly as the Rocket Mile, where parents can run the adult races; then can cheer, or run alongside their children in the kids events.

One of those sponsors is First Carolina Bank, and another is Fleet Feet Greenville, who will provide age group awards.

“First Carolina Bank not only invests our dollars into the community, we invest a significant amount of our time. We are committed to making our community strong,” said Kristen Brabble, First Carolina Bank Chief Administrative Officer.

Packet pickup, and late registration, for the event will be Friday night, May 4th, from 6-8pm at First Friday at the Imperial Centre, as well as Saturday, May 5th (aka Derby Day), from 4-6pm at HopFly Brewing Co. at the Rocky Mount Mills.

“We created a fun beer that ties into the Kentucky Derby and also allowed us to experiment with some different brewing techniques. We’re excited to serve it for Derby Day packet pickup,” said Cam Schultz, HopFly Brewing Co. Owner and Brewmaster, who created a “Mint Julep Blonde Ale” for the packet pickup, and post-race party.

Race day is Sunday, May 6th, which marks the 64th anniversary of Roger Bannister running the first sub 4:00 mile.

“The Nash UNC Health Care Rocket Mile is part of the growing Mile movement and “buzz” since our 2012 campaign launch. We love, salute and support outstanding community Mile events for runners of all ages & abilities, particularly ones that have a kid-centric component like the Rocket Mile,” said Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile Founder.

Race day registration, and late packet pickup, will also happen at the Imperial Centre from Noon to 1:30pm, where the race starts and ends, and where the awards ceremony will take place. Races start at 2pm and the awards ceremony will be at approximately 3:30pm. Webby’s Shaved-Ice will be on hand to provide free refreshment for participants.

Online registration is open through race day and volunteers are requested.  Rocky Mount-based Tar River Timing will time the event. The Summer of Miles podcast will release a “Spring of Mills” episode during race week, to preview the event.

The Nash UNC Health Care Rocket Mile is directed and promoted by Sir Walter Running, a Raleigh-based USATF club. Sir Walter Running also produces the Sir Walter Miler, the Pop Up Miles and Pop Up Cross Country series, the Raleigh RunDown Downhill Mile, the Summer of Miles podcast, and a series of Strava Challenges.

For more information, sponsorship information, or interview requests, contact Pat Price for Singlet Public Relations at and 919.260.8013

Leave a Reply