Testing Manchester Mile seen as a battle of the best
Both race courses start near Derryfield Park on Bridge Street and finish at the base of the hill, next to Pulaski Park. The 5K includes a loop through a local neighborhood and the park.
"Brian will be in Manchester Tuesday, a day ahead of the race," John Mortimer, owner and founder of Millennium Running, manager of the event, said on Monday. "He just ran a 1:45.45 time in the 800 meters, and he's going to be well-rested for our race on Wednesday. Any returning runner has the advantage of knowing what's in front of them. They know how to pace themselves and when to start kicking it home. Brian has done it, and he absolutely can break his own record Wednesday."
"The first 800 meters is all about adrenaline," he said. "You're breathing hard, you feel your heart is going through your chest and your legs are hurting and feel 10 pounds heavier. The second 800 meters is all about heart and guts. That's when the course starts to flatten out a bit, and that's when it becomes mind over matter for the runner. It's at that point when a runner has to begin pushing harder than the body wants to go. For elite runners like Brian Gagnon who train to push themselves beyond their limits on a daily basis, they will know whether they're going to post a good time when they reach the 800-meter mark."
Former Rutgers University All-American Julie Culley holds the women's course record of 4:13.7.
"There's a deeper field of runners on the women's side," said Mortimer. "In addition to Nicol, you have Heidi (Westerling) Westover, Tammie Robie, Kara Haas, Christine Shaw, Jennifer Mortimer and Keely Maguire."
Noting the 5K and mile form the fourth event in the nine-event Millennium Running Series of races, Mortimer added there's a possibility someone could win both the 5K and 1-mile race Wednesday.
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