History-maker Dage Minors relishing Butterfield Mile return
Dage Minors is relishing the long-awaited return of the Butterfield Mile as he aims to continue his special affinity with the event by claiming a second title.
The 27-year-old rewrote the history books in 2018 to become the first Bermudian to win the iconic race, while he also finished second to American Patrick Casey when the event was last held in 2020 before a Covid-enforced hiatus.
With the race making its return on Friday night, Minors is thrilled to be one of two local runners, alongside youngster Ryan Outerbridge, who are flying the flag among the elite men’s field.
“I’m definitely excited for Friday,” he said. “It’s a really important event on the road running calendar in Bermuda and it just sets the year up right. With it being so long since it was last held, everyone is itching to be back competing in it. I’m just glad I can be a part of it again.
“Even though I have a history in the event, I’m trying not to dwell on the past. I’ve got a job to do on Friday. I’ve had good preparation leading up to the race and so I’m just excited to race.
“Obviously I’d love to win it again this year. I go into every race trying to win and this will be no different. I’ll do what I can and hopefully that will be good enough.”
As well as it being a home race, Minors admits he will be under more pressure as he comes into the event off the back of a stellar season in which he broke three national records over 5,000 metres in Boston, 1,500 at the Trafford Grand Prix and in the West Chester Mile in Pennsylvania in August.
Despite those exploits, one milestone he is not focusing on is Terrance Armstrong’s domestic course record of 4min 10.4sec, let alone attempting to beat Leonard Mucheru’s overall record of 4:02.6, which Minors describes as “unreal”.
He said: “I’m under a bit of pressure, being a local runner off the back of having a big year last year, but that pressure is a privilege. I’m at the point in my career where expectations are higher, but I’ll take it on the chest and use it as motivation because I thrive off pressure. I’ve also been in good form on the back of the Commonwealth Games and setting national records. This distance event is my bread and butter now so I have to target a good performance.
“The record is not my real focus; it would be an amazing added bonus, but the main aim is to get some good momentum leading into the season and ahead of competing in Boston in two weeks’ time.
“Besides, the record is just unreal; I genuinely don’t know how they managed those times. It’s common knowledge that Front Street is a good 12 to 13 seconds slower than running on an indoor track, for example, so that makes the record even more unreal.”
Minors also reflected on the special nature of competing alongside Outerbridge, who will be making his debut in the race, as he aims to continue passing on his experience and aid his compatriot’s development.
“To have Ryan also competing in the race is massive,” he said. “We share the same coach and just have a really good connection. He’s definitely one for the future and I’ve told him that this Friday he has nothing to lose and to just to give it everything he has and enjoy the moment.
“He probably won’t experience much else like this event, running as a home runner and so I’m just excited for him. I don’t feel like I got a whole lot of support from the older guys when I was coming up, so I want to pass on my experience to him and other young runners.”