THE View Street climb will again test Moama athlete Archie Reid and rivals in the 34th running of the Bendigo Bank Dragon Mile on Easter Monday.
After no race in 2020 and '21 because of Covid, the Bendigo Harriers-organised classic returns in the lead-up to the Bendigo Advertiser-sponsored gala parade at the 150th Bendigo Easter Festival.
Three years ago Reid was fourth in the Open class of the Mile (1609m) where Andy Buchanan charged to victory for a third time.
Reid's coach Brady Threlfall, the Dragon Mile champion in 2013, was runner-up in the 33rd edition of the event.
Thousands of spectators will line the parade route and watch the Mile contenders race along Pall Mall, up and down View Street, and then along Pall Mall to the Mundy Street intersection finish just past the gold monument.
"It's great to have the Dragon Mile back on," said Reid.
"The prizemoney is a great incentive, but also the prestige of being a Dragon Mile winner."
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Names etched on the honour board include Olympians Michael Hillardt, Collis Birmingham and Jack Rayner.
The Dragon Mile in 1990 was won by Echuca's Malcolm Norwood.
In recent months Reid has won the 10km at the Bendigo Fun Run, the 10km at the Devonport Run, and finished fifth in the long-course (14.8km) event at Melbourne's Run For The Kids.
"Street racing is something I really enjoy, and in front of a big crowd makes it more exciting.
"It's a fantastic course, although the climb up View Street is not easy," he said of the Dragon Mile lay-out.
"There's not many hills around Moama and Echuca to train on, so a hill as steep as that is a huge challenge for me."
Tactics for Reid may be to try and gain a sizeable lead along the westward dash on Pall Mall to Alexandra Fountain and then swing right up View Street.
The 20-year-old goes into this Mile having racked up plenty of kilometres in training and racing.
Most recent hit-out for Reid was last Saturday night's 10km track duel at the Collingwood Classic.
"There were a lot of tactical moves in that race."
On the 25th and final lap, Reid clocked an incredible 62 seconds as he charged to victory in 30.06 minutes.
The Sydney 10 in early May is another event on Reid's race calendar before he rejoins his Bendigo Bats team-mates to compete in Premier division of this year's Athletics Victoria cross-country series.
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