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Why Running A 1-Mile Race Should Be On Your Bucket List

3.1 miles, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles—those distances get all the love and attention. And rightfully so—completing any one of those distances, or any in between, is a mega-accomplishment no matter your level. But there’s one distance that’s was around before these became super popular events, and it’s popping back up on the road race scene in a big way: the 1-mile run.

Related: How To Increase Your Mileage Without Getting Injured

“The mile is deeply embedded in America culture—we think, speak and relate in miles,” says Ryan Lamppa, founder of “Bring Back The Mile.” “In short, we Americans understand what a mile is as a distance in our everyday lives. Moreover, the mile is a doable, achievable distance to complete for the vast majority of people, and recent comprehensive studies have shown that it is the ideal fitness distance for all, regardless of speed or age.”

Related: Photos From Last Year’s Carlsbad 5000

Historical significance and ideal distance aside, here are 10 other reasons, from us and BBTM, to add a 1-mile race to your bucket list, especially one that cruises a San Diego beach town like Carlsbad 5000:

1. You finish sooner than other longer distances! (Aka, reach the beer garden first, amiright?)
2. You probably won’t be as sore or stiff the next day.
3. Many 1-mile road races are either flat or point-to-point and downhill.
4. You can compare your finish time to that time you ran in elementary school P.E., when you were “forced” to run a mile.
5. You still get a medal!
6. The 1-mile run can be a warm-up to a race you might be running the following weekend!
7. It’s a fun way to test your speed. Whether you want to go all out, walk as fast as you can or just give the distance a go and see what happens, sometimes it’s fun to try and move as fast as you want.
8. A mile is a “doable, achievable distance,” which means when you tell your friends you’re running a 1-mile run…you might end the convo with a new run bud.
9. It’s an instant PR if you’re a newbie to the distance.
10. If you’re prepping for your first 5K later this year, a 1-mile race is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the racing atmosphere.

Caitlyn Pilkington

Caitlyn Pilkington

Caitlyn Pilkington is the web editor for Women's Running. She started running competitively in 2001 and has completed two marathons and tons of half marathons. Her proudest moment as a runner was crossing the finish line of her first marathon in 3:29, qualifying for the 2016 Boston Marathon.