June 20, 2014
For immediate release

Local runners can help celebrate 50th anniversary of golden run

Sacramento-area runners can take part in the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships and celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history on Thursday at Hornet Stadium.

The Billy Mills 10k, put on by the Sacramento Sports Commission and the Sacramento Running Association, starts and finishes at Hornet Stadium Thursday night during the second day of the USA Outdoor event. The race begins at 7 p.m.

Runners can register at www.runsra.org. The cost — $45 until Monday at 11:59 p.m. and $30 for those 18 and under – includes a ticket to Thursday’s event.

Mills, who lives in Fair Oaks, stunned the track world by surging past favorite Ron Clarke of Australia and Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia to win the gold medal in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

His then Olympic record time of 28 minutes, 24.4 seconds was nearly 50 seconds faster than his previous best. Mills is the only American to win an Olympic gold medal at that distance; Galen Rupp claimed silver in 2012 at the London Olympics.

Mills, who grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for Oglala Lakota Sioux in South Dakota, has spent much of his time since then encouraging others to reach for their dreams.

As the national spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Mills has reached out to Native American youth hoping to help them avoid problems like diabetes and suicide.

“We are honored to be able to partner with the Sacramento Sports Commission and Olympic gold medalist and local running icon Billy Mills to offer our community an opportunity to be a part of the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with the Billy Mills 10k,” said Ellen Moore, the Sacramento Running Association’s Executive Director.

“Billy’s amazing performance at the 1964 Olympic Games has forever connected him with the 10,000 meters. This community event is a great opportunity to remember his stunning achievement and allow our participants a chance to witness, in person, our nation’s top track distance runners.”

The Billy Mills 10k course crosses the Guy West Bridge and follows the American River to Watt Avenue, then crosses the river and returns to Hornet Stadium.

Runners can then watch the women’s 10,000 meters, scheduled for 8:20 p.m., and the men’s 10,000, set for 9 p.m.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.