The Magnificent Mile is an afternoon race in downtown Raleigh. I really love the setup of the course - about a quarter mile up Hillsborough St, counter-clockwise around the Capitol, then back down to the finish. It's basically flat, with a slight incline right at the start and corresponding awesome decline on the way in to the finish.
Monte and I arrived at the race around 1:30. Packet pickup was quick and easy, but I was really disappointed that despite registering way ahead of time, they did not have a shirt in the size I'd selected. Oh well. We walked around and chatted with a few friends, watched the men's race at 2:00, and then I did a very short warm-up before heading to the start line around 2:15.
I found Alicia and Caren near the 5-6 minute/mile sign, and hoped to at least keep them in eyesight. Last year they seemed to do a very good job of making sure that people were in the correct corrals, but this year there wasn't much organization and there were at least a dozen little girls in a group right in front of us. This made for a lot of swerving and dodging for the first bit of the race, and I didn't want to go out too fast so before I knew it Caren and Alicia were well ahead of me. Tried to run was felt fast but relaxed, and hit the first quarter in 1:28. By first turn, I'd cleared most of the kids, focused on Caren, and settled in for the middle half (1:30-1:32).
Big congratulations to Caren, who finished in 5:47 and is now the NC USATF masters champion in the mile!