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December 30. 2012 9:05PM

Millennium Mile set for Tuesday in Londonderry

A record field of 1,300 participants is expected for the 14th annual Millennium Mile in Londonderry Tuesday afternoon.

The one-mile downhill event begins at 2 p.m. in front of Londonderry High School and goes south on Mammoth Road.

"I think people enjoy beginning the new year with this fun event," said race organizer John Mortimer. "We have people of all ages. Some come out to race and some come out to walk."

The field is up by 400 participants for this year's event. Anyone interested can still register online today at millenniumrunning.com until noontime or on-site at Londonderry High School before the race on Tuesday from noon until 1:45 p.m.

Last year's men's winner, Peter Najem of Derry, and women's winner Kara Haas of Westford, Mass., are expected to be in the field to defend their titles. Najem crossed in 3:56.7 last year and Haas collected the title in 4:40.

The men's course record is 3:51, which has been accomplished twice. Scott Anderson of Washington, D.C. clocked that time in the inaugural event n 1999 while Andy Downin, a co-founder of the race, tied the record in 2001.

The women's course record is 4:20 and that is held by Londonderry's Amy Mortimer set in 2005.

Also expected in the field is Brian Gagnon of Lowell, Mass. He was the Millennium Mile winner (3:54) two years ago and the Manchester Mile winner (3:43.9) this past summer.

"When we first started this event it was a fun, novelty idea," John Mortimer said. "We basically had a bunch of runners getting together to celebrate the New Year and we wanted to go to a race together. There were not that many around so we decided to start our own. We thought about a 5k but then felt that one-mile downhill would really be something different and fun. It has certainly grown since that first year."


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