Ryan Outerbridge out to make his mark in Front Street Mile elite race debut
Ryan Outerbridge is adamant he has nothing to lose ahead of making his first appearance in the Butterfield Front Street Mile elite race today.
The 20-year-old joins compatriot Dage Minors in flying the flag for Bermuda among the seven-runner elite field, which includes overseas entrants Christian Harrison, Dylan Lowry, Jordan Schilit and Grant Grosvenor, of the United States, as well as Britain’s Adrian Haines.
Having tasted success previously claiming Front Street Mile Primary School, Middle School and Senior School titles, Outerbridge is now relishing the opportunity to test himself at a higher level.
“I’m definitely excited for the Front Street Mile,” said Outerbridge, who laughed when thinking back to watching the elite field from the sidelines, to know be preparing to take to the start line of the same race.
“It’s one of the biggest races Bermuda has to offer and after a two-year absence it’s great that it is back.
“I’ve got nothing to lose so I’ll giving it my all. My aim is to try and hang on for as long as possible and then see what I have left at the end.
“You never what to expect with the Front Street Mile because it can be so unpredictable with things like the weather, so who knows.
“I think I’ve competed in eight or nine Front Street Mile races going back to when I was eight years-old. I’ve won it three times and Primary, Middle and High School and I always loved racing in it.
“There is always a great atmosphere with a big crowd lined all the way down Front Street and I just can’t wait to experience that again but in the elite race.
“It’s really funny because after my races I used meet up with my dad and watch the elite race from a balcony on Front Street. It’s pretty crazy to think I’ll be in that race now!
Despite being excited about facing a higher level of competition, Outerbridge, who attends Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, concedes to having nerves ahead of the race, as well as dealing with the greater focus on he and Minors – with whom he shares the same coach, Zacc Emerson – as the local entrants.
“There are definitely more nerves racing in the elite race but that’s expected because it’s a new challenge for me,” he added. “People will also have higher expectation of me being a local athlete but I’ll take in my stride because it’s always great to race in front of a big home crowd.
“It definitely helps me knowing that Dage will be racing alongside me.”
To help combat the nerves, Outerbridge is drawing on confidence from a strong season racing in Cross Country in which he achieved All-Conference and All-Region honours, while his team also reached the national championships.
“I’m coming into the race off the back of a strong Cross Country season and so hopefully I can take that momentum into the event,” he said.
“I’m also hoping that a good performance will set me up right for the start of the new indoor season.”