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Bolas Aims To Make Mile History On Alaskan Soil - RRW

Published by
DyeStatPRO.com   Sep 11th 2013, 10:06pm

By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved - Used with permission.

(10-Sep) -- On Friday, American miler Jack Bolas seeks to etch his name in the history books by becoming the first man ever to break four-minutes for the mile on Alaskan soil. The 25-year-old University of Wisconsin alum enters a special event there with hopes of not only breaking barriers, but inspiring a future generation of runners.

"Every runner wants to leave his/her imprint somewhere in this sport and this is my chance to do just that," wrote Bolas in an e-mail to Race Results Weekly. On Friday between 4pm and 5pm local time, Bolas will toe the line alongside pacesetter Danny Stockberger at Anchorage's The Dome, an indoor, 400 meter all-rubber track. "Even more special is that I have an opportunity to hopefully inspire some young kids with this sub-4 attempt."

The idea to chase the four-minute mark in Alaska came from both Bolas's shoe sponsor, New Balance, and a high school cross country meet in the area on Thursday.

"New Balance has a strong presence in the region and these couple days in Anchorage, including the mile on Friday, gives us --New Balance and myself-- a chance to get more involved with the high school-age running community, support the competitorson Thursday and get them pumped about the sub-4 attempt on Friday," he said.

Though Bolas has no ties to America's most northern state, he said it would be very special to become the first person ever to run under four minutes on Alaskan soil. Coming off of a good summer of racing, Bolas enters the record attempt with confidence.

On Sunday at the Grandma's Minnesota Mile, Bolas timed 3:54 for the road event to finish third behind Ben Blankenship and Craig Miller. That was the second time Bolas cracked four minutes in less than a month, having run a personal best of 3:57.49 on the track at the Falmouth Mile on August 10.

"Absolutely," Bolas answered when asked if he's gained confidence from the last month of racing. "I think this late in the season, the most important thing besides staying healthy is maintaining momentum. I feel like I've been able to carry through the momentum and confidence I gained at Falmouth and my last two road races going into Friday."

Based in Greenville, S.C., as part of the Furman Elite training group, Bolas has found a comfortable support system.

"I've cut out emphasis on mileage at this point and focused my attention into maintaining speed and fitness through short track sessions and fartlek runs," he said.

If Bolas does indeed break four-minutes on Friday, it will be the second Alaskan milestone broken in two months. Earlier this year on July 15, the University of Oregon's Trevor Dunbar became the first Alaskan to dip under four-minutes, timing 3:59.06 at the Portland (Oregon) Roughrider Twilight Meet. Though he is the first Alaska native to run a four minute mile, he has not done so in his home state.

Admittedly a superstitious guy, Bolas has no concerns about the event being run on Friday the 13th, traditionally seen as an unlucky day.

"Friday the 13th is somewhat daunting," he said. "But I think the arena is set for an incredible event. I've got plenty of people on my side and a great pacesetter in Danny Stockberger to help me get the job done. So the conditions certainly outweigh even my superstitions."

FUN FACT: The only representative from the United States in the 2000 Women's Olympic Marathon was an Alaskan, Christine Clark, a medical doctor.  Doing nearly all of her training on a treadmill because of Alaska's brutally cold winters, she won the 2000 USA Olympic Trials in February, then placed 19th in the Olympic Games in September.


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