Mile News

The Summer of Webb: An Inside Look at Alan Webb’s Magical 2007 Season

August 01, 2017

“I had a genuine confidence that I could compete with anybody in the world. And that was a feeling that I’d never had before… I had tasted it before, but that solidified it.”

By Jonathan Gault,

Matthew Centrowitz still remembers it clearly. It was June 2, 2007, and he was at the Reebok Grand Prix on Randall’s Island in New York City. He may have an Olympic gold medal now, but back then Centrowitz was an 18-year-old senior at Broadneck (Md.) High School running in his first Mile against professionals, where he would face the greatest field of his young life: Nick Willis, Craig Mottram, Bernard Lagat, Kevin Sullivan and the headliner, Alan Webb.

Centrowitz arrived a couple of hours before his race on a warm, muggy night at Icahn Stadium. As he and his training partner, Dan Wilson, headed for the warmup area, Wilson spotted Webb seated on a hill nearby. Wilson, a 2002 UConn grad and three-time U.S. finalist at 1500 meters, knew Webb from his years on the circuit and made a beeline toward him. Centrowitz followed along and remained quiet as the two pros talked shop.

Wilson asked Webb if he was in shape. The answer to this was already fairly obvious — Webb had run 3:51.71 for the Mile in his last race at the Drake Relays. But even if they’re in monster shape, pros generally don’t admit it to other pros. Better to downplay expectations and let your opponent underestimate you.

That wasn’t Webb’s style. Webb thrived on confidence, so when Wilson asked him if he was in shape, Webb responded truthfully.

“Yeah, I’m in really good shape,” Webb told him.

Continue reading at:

Tags: nick willis (109) , matthew centrowitz (132) , bernard lagat (35) , alan webb (57)

Facebook Comments

Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!