Pro Runners Keep Tradition and Participate in Virtual Fleet Feet Liberty Mile

August 4, 2020

Featuring an Olympian, four U.S. mile champions and four race champions, the virtual elite field hopes to inspire and motivate other race participants with their virtual miles.

PITTSBURGH (August 4, 2020)–  Even though the make-up of the race is different this year, the 2020 Fleet Feet Liberty Mile will still challenge participants to run their fastest (and most fun) mile virtually. America’s best milers will also be joining in this year’s virtual elite field, which challenges them to run their fastest mile remotely while also motivating other participants.

In past years’ races, participants loved the excitement of racing down Liberty Avenue and then watching the country’s top athletes, including Olympians and national champions, race to the finish with sub 4-minute miles. Although the virtual elite field will be running their miles without fans, spectators and competitors this year, they hope to still inspire otherrunners to run their best mile by sharing their training and racing experience on social media.

This year’s virtual elite field includes U.S. Olympian Ben Blankenship and U.S. mile champions Heather Kampf, Emily Lipari and Riley Masters. Many of them have a tradition of running the event and didn’t want to miss it even though it was virtual this year.

“I have always loved traveling to the hidden gem of Pittsburgh, and I’ll miss going back this year,” Lipari said. “The Fleet Feet Liberty Mile has always been a special one to me because regardless of how my season was going, I was always able to find a little magic on the streets of Pittsburgh.”

The professional runners, just like most runners right now, are learning to adapt with COVID-19 and the cancellation of their favorite races this summer. Many are keeping their running schedule even though they may no longer have a race as a goal. Some are also trying new workouts and finding ways to keep running fun.

“I figured there were a few ways to respond to the tough new reality,” said Kyle Merber. “My choice was to look at it as an opportunity to try new things and experiment with higher mileage training. I have never been so tired in my life, but overall, I would rate it a success.”

Both the men’s and women’s virtual elite field participated in round table discussions to share training tips and discuss how they are staying motivated this summer.

More than 1,000 runners of all ages and abilities are expected to participate in this virtual Fleet Feet Liberty Mile. All participants have until August 7, 2020 to complete their virtual race. Participants are encouraged to use #libertymile and tag @RUNwithP3R and @fleetfeetpitt on social media so others can follow along and celebrate their virtual race. Also exciting for 2020 is the first-ever Fleet Feet Liberty Mile medal! For more information or to register, visit www.LibertyMile.org.

2020 Virtual Fleet Feet Liberty Mile Elite Field

Name Instagram Mile PR
Ben Blankenship (U.S. Olympian and 2-time Liberty Mile winner) @benfblankenship 3:52.51
Emily Lipari (2-time Liberty Mile winner) @classicemilyl 4:21.6
Heather Kampf (4-time Liberty Mile winner) @heatherraekampf 4:19.7
Kyle Merber @kylemerber 3:52.22
Riley Masters (2018 U.S. Road Mile Champion) @riley_masters 3:55.8
Robert Domanic (2-time Liberty Mile winner) @robert_domanic 3:53.2
Stephanie Brown @misspurplebrown 4:29.06

About P3R

P3R is the engine behind Pittsburgh’s greatest races. We strive to inspire any and all to run with us. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, P3R runs a variety of other high-quality races, events, and health and fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. Anyone and everyone is invited to #RUNwithP3R! Read more at: P3R.org

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