The inaugural White Light Mile was a success last October, but organizers are making a few tweaks to make the event even better.
The second annual downtown Fremont event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Runners can register or find more information about the race, including a video of the course, at: run-ne.com/wlm.
“We are keeping a lot of the same things, but what we wanted to do this year was take it up a notch,” said Chris McBratney, one of the organizers. “We wanted to keep the downtown vibe and the ability to have more of a twilight race.”
The race start was pushed back 75 minutes to help achieve that goal.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for the runners to race under the strand of lights that are on buildings and underneath street lamps,” McBratney said. “We also incorporated a two-loop course instead of one big, long one. This year the runners will run a half-mile loop twice.”
The purpose of the two-loop race was to make it more spectator friendly.
“Each runner will come through twice so there will be more of an opportunity for cheering and encouragement,” McBratney said.
Organizers are also hoping to have cheer stations that are set up by spectators, families, friends or other entities.
“We’d really like to have some of the downtown businesses set up a cheer station so at the end of the night we’ll set up an award for the best one,” McBratney said. “It is just to create a really fun and engaging atmosphere for the runners.”
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McBratney said the feedback from last year’s race was very positive.
“People that came out were very encouraged about how well the event went off in its first year,” he said. “They liked the flat course and they liked the scenery and the atmosphere. It wasn’t a road race at the end of town, it was in the city itself. We thought we’d just try to improve it a bit. They’ll get to run by the courthouse and some shops and it will still have a historic vibe.”
The White Light Mile will also be awarded the USA Track & Field Road Mile Championship for Nebraska, McBratney said.
“I’m not sure if Fremont has ever had a road distance championship, but this is just a way to bring it here. It is a good way to maybe attract more runners to the event,” he said.
If there are enough elite runners, a championship-style heat would be created.
“If we can get some really quick guys and gals, they can put on a show,” McBratney said. “Last year the winner ran a 4:23. That was pretty cool to see.”
With their entry fee, participants receive a T-shirt, a post-race meal and entertainment.
“They get quite a big bang for their buck,” McBratney said. “We want to put on a good show for everyone.”