The 5k has been the cornerstone distance of foot races for decades, and as such it's the race that you're most likely to see at local events. That being said, a personal favorite among the track community, and one of the most exciting races to run is the mile. A perfect mix of endurance and foot speed, a mile race will test your mettle like few other events. Every year, local New Orleans running group, the Power Milers, put together an event to let runners do just that. On August 8th, 2022 the annual Power Mile rolled around on a humid Louisiana summer day. The race day features a half mile event for youth runners, as well as an open mile for runners and walkers of all skill levels. Both races draw numerous participants and a whole host of cheers. The youth section especially makes for a fun running environment as parents can be seen jogging alongside and cheering on their kids. The main draw of the night’s festivities however, can be found in the “elite” section of the mile which features any runners who can run a mile in under seven minutes.
Though the course was flat, four sharp turns and wet asphalt didn't make for the fastest of conditions. That being said, there were still plenty of fast runners to go around for this event, many of whom were Power Milers themselves. The women’s side of the action had some impressive speed with the top finisher coming in just over five flat, and the second place finisher getting under 5:10 as well. For the men, through 800 meters it was Jarrett LeBlanc who had taken the lead, surging past the halfway point in 2:06 to build up a sizable lead. Though LeBlanc slowed a bit across the back stretch, he still finished first overall and claimed a time of 4:24, leading wire to wire. Coming in behind him was a surge of Power Milers as well. Jarrett LeBlanc is a former collegiate runner with an impressive resume of running achievements under his belt including a lifetime PR in the mile that breaks the four minute barrier, although this was his first time winning this event. He came in with the goal to win the event and see how fast he could go, and told us after the race that “I was hoping to go a bit faster, but fitness doesn’t lie.” He may have a few excuses to lean back on however, as LeBlanc recently became a father and had just gotten back into consistent training recently. LeBlanc was happy to get out into the community and get involved, and enjoys showing that “having a busy lifestyle, being a dad, and training can still be fun and manageable.”
Hannah Borque - Female Champion in 4:59
Jarrett Leblanc - Men's Champ
Running is a sport that is inclusive, being as much of a lifestyle as it is a competition. It’s not uncommon to see races that are full of runners who aren’t in competition at all with anyone aside from themselves. Running can really shine as a sport in this way, but the Power Mile offers a taste of the more competitive side of the sport that makes for an exciting spectacle and heaps of motivation for local runners. Many people come out to this event to gauge their level of self improvement over a year, or to settle friendly rivalries. You’d be hard pressed to find a better event to showcase the benefits of healthy competition, regardless of the skill level. In line with that, we asked Jarrett LeBlanc if he had any advice for any current or respective runners. In response he said “Just keep grinding… When I was 21 I thought my running career was over but I kept training for three years and broke four minutes. Everybody has their own race to run, and it’s never over until it’s over.”
For more photos click our facebook album here.
Full Results posted soon..