Minors ready for ‘talented field’ in mile

  • Making history: Dage Minors became the first Bermudian to win the men’s elite race in the Front Street Mile in 2018

(File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Making history: Dage Minors became the first Bermudian to win the men’s elite race in the Front Street Mile in 2018 (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dage Minors will be among a fiercely competitive 12-man field when he returns for the elite men’s Butterfield Front Street Mile after missing the race last year because of college commitments.

Minors made history two years ago when he took advantage of a weakened line-up to become the first Bermudian to win the iconic race since its inception in 1989.

The 24-year-old, who competed at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, last summer, treated the spectators who lined Front Street to a truly memorable night, although he admits he remembers very little about it.

“The Front Street Mile in 2018 was a big win for me,” said Minors, who clocked a time of 4min 33sec, finishing ahead of second-place Jordan Donnelly, of Britain, and Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele in third.

“A lot of the time, races feel like a blur and that one was no different. I just remember the first half was really slow due to the head wind. It came down to who had the best finish and used better tactics.

“I was gutted to miss last year, but it is what it is.”

Minors will be the sole Bermudian in the elite men’s race, which includes Patrick Casey, Bryan Morseman, Robert Downs and Harun Abda, of the United States, Alfredo Santana and Andres Arroyo, of Puerto Rico, Michael Rimmer, of Britain, Dey Dey, of Sudan, and Temesgen Habtemariam Bekele, Abu Kebede Diriba, Abdulmenan Kasim Gelatu, of Ethiopia.

A cash prize of $1,500 will be up for the grabs for the winner, with $500 on offer for second place and $250 for third.

“It’s a very talented field for sure,” Minors added. “I’ve raced against some of them before and are familiar with them.

“In terms of race plan, a lot depends on the weather, to be honest. As always, I’ll put myself in a position to complete and run well.”

Although Minors, who has been tipped to challenge for the podium by race organiser Freddie Evans, does not expect to peak until later in the season, he will approach the start line in reasonable form.

“Preparation has been going well, not just for the Front Street Mile, but for the rest of the year,” Minors said.

“The unfortunate thing about the mile is that it’s really early in the season.

“It’s important to have a focus on it, but you can’t put everything into it because, regardless of what happens, there’s almost six months left of racing.

“I’ve ran two indoor miles in 4:09 and 4:14 and made improvements both running in workouts and in the gym.”

Among Minors’s goals for the season is breaking Terrance Armstrong’s national indoor mile record of 4:03.24, which has stood for 22 years.

“There will be a lot of chances to do that, as it’s an Olympic year,” he added. “A lot of meets will be more competitive as people look to either reach Olympic Trial standards or the Game Standards.”

Since competing at the Pan American Games, Minors has become an assistant athletics coach at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, his alma mater.

It is a “rewarding and challenging” role and one that allows him to continue to train at a high level.

“After the Games, I took almost a month off, which was needed,” said Minors, who performed the 800 and 1,500 metres in Lima.

“During that month, I was itching to get back training. Because I took so many positives from the Games, it made my offseason a lot better mentally. Since then, I’ve become an assistant coach at Franklin Pierce University.

“The new role is rewarding and challenging. I enjoy coaching because it also allows me to train as well. It has also made me become more accountable myself. I can’t tell one of the athletes to do something [in training] if I don’t do it myself. It’s been a fun experience.”

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Published Jan 15, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 14, 2020 at 9:49 pm)

Minors ready for ‘talented field’ in mile

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