TERRE HAUTE —
Celebrating its 30-year anniversary as a Fourth of July tradition, the Fast Track Mile will take place this morning on Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute.
Event director Dave Williams said 380 runners and walkers — ranging in ages from 2 to 81 and ranging in experience from a whole lot to not much — had pre-registered as of Tuesday evening. But he thinks the final total will exceed 400 after late registrations are completed.
Williams said runners are coming from Wabash Valley cities and towns such as Brazil, Clinton, Sullivan, Rockville, Farmersburg, Marshall, Ill., and Paris, Ill., along with Waveland and Lafayette, plus some are arriving from Kentucky, Colorado, Virginia and other states to compete.
Williams added that the only past overall champion who pre-registered is 2009 and 2010 women’s winner TaPring Goatee of Terre Haute, but a few more may enter during late registration ($14 for adults and $6 for youths 16 and under) between 7 and 8 a.m. today at Gilbert Park.
Starting near Fourth Street, the men’s mile will begin at 8:15 and the women’s race and a coed walk will follow at approximately 8:30. Runners and walkers will head east toward the finish line, located on the northwest side of Gilbert Park at 14th Street.
Mayor Duke Bennett will fire the pistol to start both races. Spectators usually line the sidewalks along Wabash Avenue, which will be blocked from motorized traffic, to cheer on participants.
“The weather forecast is calling for 70 degrees, no rain, for the start of the men’s race,” Williams mentioned.
Williams said the Wabash Valley Roadrunners Club, which sponsors the event, recently purchased a new finish-line arch and will use it for the first time today.
Overall male and female winners and masters male and female winners will earn trophies. First- and second-place teams for middle schools will receive plaques and cash awards for their running programs, while the top three individuals in each age group will get running hats.
“Thirty years — what an awesome thing,” noted Williams, who has been part of organizing the event since the late 1990s. “It’s the longest-running race in the Wabash Valley. There’s always great family participation. We’ve had three generations running at the same times.”
Overall champs in the 1982 inaugural races — then known as the Mayor’s Cup Mile — were Tony Nading (male) and Denise Weinhoeft (female). Nading went on to win the men’s event a total of four times in the 1980s, a mark that Chad Contri tied in 2003.
Cassie Hunt has won the women’s race five times, including the 2011 version.
All proceeds will go to the Wabash Valley Roadrunners Club scholarship fund.
Applications are available online at WVRR.org.
“My hat is off to all the volunteers who help with this,” Williams concluded. “It’s certainly not one person [organizing and running the event]. We really appreciate all they do.”
Fast Track Mile winners
(formerly known as Mayor’s Cup Mile)
Overall male, female champions
1982 — Tony Nading and Denise Weinhoeft.
1983 — Tony Nading and Amanda Willhite.
1984 — Tony Nading and Teri Wiser.
1985 — Marty Jones and Teri Wiser.
1986 — Brad Cooper and Debbie Anderson.
1987 — Barry Schnieders and Meg McElroy.
1988 — Tony Nading and Meg McElroy.
1989 — Mike Eup and Meg (McElroy) Schnieders.
1990 — Todd Messer and Mellissa Utterback.
1991 — Kyle Hobbs and Meg (McElroy) Schnieders.
1992 — Darcy Jones and Christi Olson.
1993 — Chad McCullough and Ruth Ozmun.
1994 — Kevin Sullivan and Ruth Ozmun.
1995 — Chad Smith and Ruth Ozmun.
1996 — Chad Smith and Danelle Leaf.
1997 — Rick Sluder and Angie Menser.
1998 — Chad Contri and Michelle McIntosh.
1999 — Paul Risch and Alyssa Pittman.
2000 — Chad Contri and Angie Bruecker.
2001 — Jason Gunn and Angie Bruecker.
2002 — Chad Contri and Cassie Hunt.
2003 — Chad Contri and Cassie Hunt.
2004 — Dustin Strosnider and Cassie Hunt.
2005 — Jeff Simonich and Cassie Hunt.
2006 — Andrew Sullivan and Amy Hamilton.
2007 — Lucas Roscoe and Kayla Alexander.
2008 — Justin Kunz and Kayla Alexander.
2009 — Josh Bedford and TaPring Goatee.
2010 — Roger Busch and TaPring Goatee.
2011 — Roger Busch and Cassie Hunt.