Roger Bannister never won the 1500 meter run or any other event at the Olympic Games. Even without Olympic gold, though, Bannister is an athletic legend because he was the first to run a mile in under four minutes. The persistence of Bannister's fame shows just how tight a grip the mile has on our imaginations. Consider also that more than 200 people showed up at Maclay School just to run a mile at the nineteenth annual Breakfast On The Track.
With so many people wanting to run a mile, the race had to be run in eleven sections. The athletes expecting to run the fastest were in the first section. That section include two former Florida State University distance runners, Stan Linton and Matt Mizereck. Back on 6 May 1954 at Oxford University, Bannister had stepped onto the Iffley Road Stadium track to run a 4:00 mile. Linton and Mizereck were chasing a less ambitious 4:30. In 1954, Bannister had Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway to set the pace for him. At the Breakfast On The Track, Linton and Mizereck had also brought a pacemaker.
"He was supposed to go out in 2:12 for the first half mile," said Mizereck, the 2014 Gulf Winds Track Club Mile champion. "But he got a little happy and ran 2:02."
It was fast enough that Linton couldn't keep up with the rabbit. Mizereck did, and was ten seconds ahead of Linton when the pacesetter stepped off the track halfway through the race. Mizereck wasn't unaffected by the fast first two laps, though. On the third lap he was already starting to struggle, and Linton was starting to catch up.
On the fourth and final lap Mizereck was in zombie mode, plodding onward by reflex. Linton was gaining but still far behind. Even with 100 meters to go Mizereck's lead seemed safe. But Mizereck had nothing left, and couldn't react when Linton charged by on the way home. Linton was across the line first followed by Mizereck.
"I was trying to get under 4:30," said Linton. "But I guess we fell short."
It was close, though, with Linton clocked in 4:30.10 and Mizereck in 4:31.67. Three high school cross country runners followed, with Bainbridge High senior Poncherella Leonard third in 4:44.86, Maclay senior Jake Mazziotta fourth in 4:45.30, and Maclay sophomroe Clay Milford fifth in 4:50.02. Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, was the top master runner in the mile, placing seventh overall in 4:57.59.
Caroline Willis was the only woman in the second section and the fastest woman in the race, placing 26th in the overall standings in 5:26.47. A senior at Maclay School, Willis is looking ahead toward cross country season.
"This was getting a baseline for what I'm capable of running in a 5K during cross country," explained Willis. "I'm happy with it. It's about what I've done here in previous years, and I was only able to train half the summer because I had mono. I'm still trying to get my fitness back."
Running out of section three, Katie Sack was the women's runner-up, placing 51st overall in 5:53.56. Jillian Heddaeus was the third woman in the mile and 56th overall in 5:59.87. Kenya Rich was the top woman master and seventh female finisher, 64th overall in 6:23.88.
In all, 204 athletes ran a mile at the ninteenth annual Breakfast On The Track. Many of them enjoyed the free pancakes served at trackside, something that Roger Bannister never had at Iffley Road Stadium. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.
Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
- 4:30.10 ~ Stan Linton (M, 22)
- 4:31.67 ~ Matt Mizereck (M, 24)
- 4:44.86 ~ Poncherella Leonard (M, 19)
- 4:45.30 ~ Jake Mazziotta (M, 18)
- 4:50.02 ~ Clay Milford (M, 16)
- 4:51.05 ~ Ryan Truchelut (M, 30)
- 4:57.59 ~ Bryan Koon (M, 44)
- 4:58.35 ~ Christopher O'Kelley (M, 23)
- 4:59.53 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 38)
- 5:00.72 ~ Gannon Hundley (M, 18)
Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
- 5:26.47 ~ Caroline Willis (F, 17)
- 5:53.56 ~ Katie Sack (F, 24)
- 5:59.87 ~ Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33)
- 6:14.55 ~ Avery Smith (F, 14)
- 6:16.87 ~ Emma Spencer (F, 35)
- 6:19.82 ~ Kenzie Mazziotta (F, 15)
- 6:23.88 ~ Kenya Rich (F, 43)
- 6:24.04 ~ Laura McDermott (F, 36)
- 6:34.66 ~ Camille Resavage (F, 11)
- 6:35.87 ~ Elise Ferguson (F, 12)
|“Breakfast On The Track” Mile champions, 1998 - 2016|
|8 August 1998||4:36, Robert Pautienus||5:21, Jane Johnson||101|
|14 August 1999||4:26, Lee Willis||5:27, Jane Johnson||123|
|26 August 2000||4:42.97, Gary Droze||5:09.08, Sarah Docter-Williams||112|
|18 August 2001||4:21.47, Ryan Deak||5:08.94, Sarah Docter-Williams||130|
|17 August 2002||4:35.07, Lee Willis||5:10.33, Sarah Docter-Williams||123|
|16 August 2003||4:45.20, David Huntzinger||5:02.28, Sarah Docter-Williams||122|
|14 August 2004||4:32.40, Lee Willis||5:11.79, Sarah Docter-Williams||162|
|13 August 2005||4:46.26, Art Remillard||5:07.13, Sarah Docter-Williams||157|
|12 August 2006||4:47.58, Whitney Strickland||5:09.85, Sarah Docter-Williams||202|
|18 August 2007||4:48.04, Michael Martinez||5:12.91, Sarah Docter-Williams||163|
|16 August 2008||4:31.39, Whitney Strickland||5:12.79, Jana Stolting||190|
|15 August 2009||4:43.40, Patrick Swain||5:05.66, Jana Stolting||176|
|21 August 2010||4:33.30, Trevor Touchton||5:00.97, Stefanie Kurgatt||191|
|20 August 2011||4:26.90, Kevin Sullivan||5:05.82, Stefanie Kurgatt||231|
|18 August 2012||4:40.52, Travis Covert||5:01.74, Stefanie Kurgatt||210|
|17 August 2013||4:34.92, Remy Tamer||5:12.07, Sheryl Rosen||178|
|16 August 2014||4:22.11, Matt Mizereck||5:26.81, Caroline Willis||213|
|15 August 2015||4:35.32, Joseph Garcia||5:17.98, Katie Sherron||214|
|13 August 2016||4:30.10, Stan Linton||5:26.47, Caroline Willis||204|
- Complete results of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
- More photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
- Fred Deckert's photos of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2016 Breakfast on the Track Mile
- 2015 story, “Garcia and Sherron headline a field of 214 milers at Breakfast on the Track”
- 2014 story, “Morning mile honors for Mizereck and Willis”
- 2013 story, “Tamer and Rosen eat up the field at Breakfast on the Track”
- 2012 story, “Covert and Kurgatt master the mile and a morning meal”
- 2011 story, “Making a meal of the mile”
- 2010 story, “A mile for breakfast”
- 2009 story, “Patrick Swain wins 2009 'Breakfast on the Track' Mile”
- Upcoming races on road, track, and trail in the Tallahassee region