We posted Kevin Helliker's article "Run a Mile instead of a Marathon" out of the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back, but I didn't have a chance to share my thoughts on it yet. Obviously as a shorter-distance runner and college miler, I really enjoy that the mile distance is becoming more popular again, especially for road races. It is extremely tough to find a race in the region that is "just a mile". In the entire state of Nebraska, there are probably just two races where adults regularly run the distance, and numerous other ones where parents run with their kids. In South Dakota, the only one I am familiar with is the St. Patty's Day Mile (although there could be others I don't know about).
As a fifteen year runner, the two questions I get the most often are: 1) Have you ran the Boston Marathon? and 2) What is your fastest mile? It seems like it does not matter where the individual lives or what their background is, but they can relate to the answers of those two questions. In the article I referenced above, I think the quote by Chris Pasko (3,000 meter runner in college) sums it up when he says "the only question people ask me is what my mile time was."
I don't know if I agree with what Mr. Helliker insinuates about the longer distances, but I do appreciate what Bring Back the Mile is trying to do. As a mile runner, I will take every opportunity to run the distance, even if I will be doing it slower than in my college days.