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.