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Running

Blankenship’s 3:57.85 is fastest mile recorded in Alaska

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
  • Updated: September 16, 2017
  • Published September 16, 2017

The Great Alaska Miles Series wrapped up Saturday in Kodiak, where Olympic runner Ben Blankenship ran the fastest mile recorded in Alaska.

Blankenship, of Eugene, Oregon, topped a field of elite runners with a time of 3 minutes, 57.85 seconds.

"I think @benfblankenship's 3:57 today may be the the fastest mile on Alaska soil by either human or sled dog," tweeted fourth-place Kyle Merber after the race.

It was the second time in four days that Blankenship cracked the 4-minute mark on an Alaska track. On Wednesday at West High, he was one of two men who broke the barrier — Merber won in 3:59.36, Blankenship right behind in 3:59.67.

Blankenship's Saturday time eclipsed the indoor time of 3:58.3 registered in 2013 by Jack Bolas of Washington, D.C. Until this week, Bolas was the only man to run a sub-4:00 mile in Alaska.

Racing in cold and rainy conditions in Kodiak, Blankenship — who placed eighth in the 1,500 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics — was more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Colby Alexander of New York.

Kodiak's Trevor Dunbar, who helped organize the two-race series and the only Alaskan to break the 4-minute mark, placed fifth in 4:03.82.

1) Ben Blankenship 3:57.85; 2) Colby Alexander 4:00.46; 3) Garrett Heath 4:01.76; 4) Kyle Merber 4:03.18; 5) Trevor Dunbar 4:03.82; 6) Nick Harris 4:15.13.

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