TRAVERSE CITY — Ian Boyle was finally able to win the 5/3 Bank Golden Mile.
Boyle, who had never finished higher than fourth after running in the Golden Mile four of the last five years, captured the Men’s Elite race on Thursday, surging from third place to the front of the pack late in the race with a winning time of 4:04.
Amanda Eccleston cruised to her victory in the Women’s Elite race, finishing in 4:36 for a convincing win over Sarah Boyle (4:43) and Rebecca Tracy (4:45).
But while Eccleston was in control for much of the women’s race, Ian Boyle, of Very Nice Track Club, provided the drama in the men’s race. He trailed Frezer Legesse of Team Indiana Elite and Tony Filipek of Hanson’s Yellow Team for most of the run, only overcoming both runners in the final 250 to 300 meters. Legesse finished in a time of 4:07 and Filipek was third in 4:10.
“I started pressing to catch up at three-quarters (of a mile),” said Boyle. “It took me a little while to catch them. I knew I had about 200 (meters) to go, so I just started going. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole career, that last 600 meters. So my whole race plan was to get to 600 and instead of going backward, go forward. It hurts the same no matter what. Winning feels a lot better than not. I’ve wanted to win every year, obviously.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever run on the roads. I ran 4:05 (and finished fourth) and 4:06 (and finished fifth) here.”
Boyle was coming off a victory in the Clawson Firecracker Mile last weekend.
“I hadn’t raced in a couple of months by then,” said Boyle. “My wife and I had our first kid seven months ago so training went from my No. 1 priority back to No. 3. I have been training. I’ve been trying to stay pretty diligent with it. Honestly, kind of leading into the road mile season I’ve backed off of training because we were training at such a high intensity that I started to get to the point where I was breaking down. I couldn’t finish workouts so the last month or so I’ve kind of backed off. It’s starting to pay off. My legs are getting back under me.”