Brown, Takahashi top finishers in 29th running of Tupelo race

By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Jim Brown didn’t reach his goal, but he reached the finish line well ahead of the rest of the field.
Brown’s time of 4 minutes, 42 seconds was easily the winning margin in Thursday’s 29th running of the Green Street Mile.
A group of 81 runners enjoyed unseasonably cool temperatures on a downhill course that ended at the Day-Brite building near the intersection of Green Street and Spring Street.
“I liked the weather. It was good … instead of the humidity,” said 16-year-old Mika Takahashi, a member of the Tupelo High School cross country team.
Takahashi ran 5:57 and was the first female finisher. As she works to knock seconds off her time, she was pleased with her Thursday run.
“In the state meet, for track, I did 5:36, so I’m feeling a little out of shape. My goal was to beat 6, so I’m satisfied.”
Brown was less satisfied but enjoyed the day anyway.
He ran 4:35 in this event four years ago. A veteran of the local running circuit, Brown, 34, runs more long-distance races including a half-marathon recently.
He had been putting in work on the track to get ready for the mile and felt like he left a little bit on the table at the end after surging too quickly at the beginning.
“I was not entirely pleased with my time. I started out a little bit fast. I was hoping to run sub-4.40. I thought I was on pace to go under 4:40 but was just a little above that today,” he said.
While he missed his goal, Brown was still alone at the finish.
Adam Sommers (4:56) and Ken Gassaway (4:59) took second and third, the only other runners to break five minutes.
The second female to finish was Katie Taylor with a time of 6:06.
Masters Division winners were Israel Melendez on the men’s side with a time of 5:10 and Ashley Spriggs on the women’s at 7:16.
Brown looks forward to the Green Street Mile every year.
“This race is always a lot of fun. I enjoyed it incredibly. It’s always something to look forward to,” he said.
parrish.alford@journalinc.com