Rocket Mile Will Host RRCA National Championship Next Year

04/11/2017 - 18:46

ROCKY MOUNT, NC — "We are very excited to have been selected to host next year's National Championship," said Tar River Running Company (TRRC) founder and race director Michael Forrester. "Associating our event with the RRCA, the national body that represents our sport, has a positive impact on our race and shows the continued resurgence of downtown Rocky Mount. RRCA is an open and encouraging association that inspires runners of all ages and ability levels. This is something that perfectly aligns with the Nash Health Care Rocket Mile.”

The race, which starts and finishes at the Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences and sends runners on a flat, fast, and scenic downtown course, will be held on Sunday, May 6, 2018. With only three turns in the race, runners are given a chance to post a personal best time and compete for cash prizes, large custom award medals, and gift certificates furnished by Bull City Running Company. “As an independent, locally owned running store, we believe in supporting the community of independently produced North Carolina races. The Rocket Mile embodies the spirit of community running with a balanced focus on elite and recreational runners and inspiring the next generation of runners in their youth events,” said Kim Chapman Page, owner of Bull City Running Co.

The Nash Health Care Rocket Mile is jointly produced by TRRC and the City of Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department. This partnership allows for all runners to access The Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences before and after the race. The facility provides indoor restrooms and a cool shaded location for race packet pickup. When not hosting the race, the Imperial Centre welcomes guests to their two story Children’s Museum, into their art exhibits and state of the art theatre, and to their Downtown Live concert series. “The Rocket Mile matches perfectly with our focus on family friendly community events in downtown Rocky Mount,” said David Griffin, Superintendent of the Imperial Centre. “We are excited to host runners from around the country right here in Rocky Mount.”

The 4th annual event would not be possible without the support of the race’s title sponsor, Nash Health Care. From the first year of the race, Nash Health Care has been a tremendous sponsor. The contribution of Nash allows the event to keep entry fees well below national averages, especially for the young runners. “We have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this event,” said Jeff Hedgepeth, Director of Public Relations and Marketing. “What started as a small local race has evolved into a State Championship in just our third year, and now a National Championship in 2018. Nash Health Care is proud to be a part of something this special.”

With over 420 finishers last year, the Rocket Mile has ascended from 314 finishers in its inaugural year to become the largest competitive road mile in North Carolina. The last two years, the race has served as the RRCA North Carolina State Championship for both RRCA and USA Track and Field. Course records are 4:18 for the men and 4:55 for the women set by Blake Williams (Durham, NC) and Andie Cozzarelli (Raleigh, NC) respectively.

With four separate races, Men, Women, Boys, and Girls, the event creates a festival atmosphere where participants can be both a runner and a spectator all in one afternoon. Regardless of your experience and speed, everyone is welcome at the Rocket Mile. After all, “everyone can run a mile,” said Michael Forrester. “Come join the fun!”

There is still time to register for this year’s Nash Health Care Rocket Mile on May 7th, but space is limited. For more information please visit

About Tar River Running Co:

Based out of Rocky Mount, Tar River Running Company (TRRC) is an independent small business creating local running events that have both a positive impact on community and charitable giving. In total, TRRC has helped to raise over $80,000 for local nonprofit groups. For more information visit

About Road Runners Club of America:

Founded in 1958, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events, and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners. For more information, please visit

About Nash Health Care Systems:

Nash Health Care is a non-profit hospital authority affiliated with UNC Health Care. Nash Health Care is comprised of five licensed hospitals totaling 403 beds: Nash General Hospital, Nash Day Hospital, the Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, Community Hospital and Coastal Plain Hospital, an inpatient adult psychiatric and substance abuse treatment facility. For more information about Nash Health Care Systems, visit

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