Ticonderoga The Montcalm Mile, known for its fast course, hopes to become even faster this summer.
The 28th annual one mile road race, held July 4th just prior to Ticonderoga’s Best Fourth in the North parade, will offer prize money this year in an effort to attract another top field of competitors.
With a men’s course record of 3 minutes, 54 seconds, the Montcalm Mile is believed to be the fastest mile anywhere in New York and Vermont, outside New York City.
“The Montcalm Mile has become the premier athletic contest in the North Country,” Fred Herbst, race director, said. “Having attracted record fields each of the past five years, we expect more than 300 runners in 2014.
“Our goal is make the race one of the most competitive events in the North Country while remaining a fun, family-friendly race,” he said.
To accomplish that goal the Montcalm Mile will feature two divisions — elite for men who run a sub-6-minute mile and women who run sub-7 along with a recreational division for other runners.
The elite division will offer $2,300 in prize money. The men’s and women’s winners will receive $500, second place $300, third $200, fourth $100 and fifth $50.
The Montcalm Mile course records are 3 minutes, 54 seconds set by Lee Berube in the men’s race and 4:41 set by Dana Bush in the women’s race.
It’s a downhill course that virtually assures runners of personal bests and attracts most of the region’s top athletes. Also attracting runners is the fact the race is run minutes prior to Ticonderoga’s annual Fourth of July parade, which means hundreds of spectators line the course offering encouragement.
The Montcalm Mile, the largest participation event in Ticonderoga every year, will also become the first area race to use computer chip timing to score results in 2014. The LaChute Road Runners Club, which sponsors the race, has contracted with the Albany Running Exchange for computerized chip timing and scoring.