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Nikki Hiltz, Sam Prakel both become two-time winners at Usaft 1 mile road

The USATF Indoor 1,500-meter winners demonstrated they could also rule the roads Tuesday night at the USATF 1 Mile Championships.

Nearly 10 weeks after both winning USATF Indoor titles Feb. 18 in Albuquerque, N.M., adidas professional Sam Prakel and Lululemon athlete Nikki Hiltz each secured their second career national road championships as part of the annual Grand Blue Mile event.

Hiltz produced the fastest performance in the history of the women’s race, which began in 2009, clocking 4 minutes, 27.97 seconds to edge reigning USATF Outdoor 1,500 champion Sinclaire Johnson of Nike’s Union Athletics Club in 4:28.70.

Hiltz, who prevailed in 2019 in Des Moines in 4:29.7, became the only athlete in event history to produce a pair of sub-4:30 efforts, benefitting from a 65-second opening quarter-mile and the pack reaching the midway point in 2:14.

Emily Lipari, who had the previous all-time mark of 4:29.3 in 2020, and Johnson are the only other competitors to achieve a sub-4:30 performance in the race.

Hiltz, who ran a lifetime-best 1:59.03 in the 800 meters April 14 at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University, earned $5,000 for the victory and an additional $2,500 for the record bonus. Hiltz also joined Heather Kampf and Emily Lipari as the only three competitors to capture multiple women’s championships in event history.

Addy Wiley, a freshman at Huntington University in Indiana who secured five NAIA Indoor national titles March 2-4 in South Dakota, raced for the first time since that memorable showcase and took third in 4:30.94.

Wiley, 19, became the youngest top-three finisher in event history and achieved the No. 6 all-time performance in the nine years the competition has been held in Des Moines.

Wiley, who placed fourth in the 1,500 at the USATF Indoor Championships in February in Albuquerque, elevated to No. 7 in the history of the national road mile competition, including Sara Hall clocking 4:30.8 in Minnesota to secure the 2011 crown.

Colleen Quigley, representing Lululemon, finished fourth in 4:31.1 in her debut at the event, with Nike’s Shannon Osika and Alex Teubel also being credited with 4:31 performances to secure fifth and sixth.

Alli Cash (4:32), Jenn Randall (4:33), Micaela DeGenero (4:34) and Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:37) completed the top 10 women’s competitors in the 23-athlete race.

Prakel prevailed in 4:01.21, remaining patient following an opening quarter mile of 61 seconds and a 2:05 split at the midway point, to take control in the final 500 meters and never relinquish his advantage.

Under Armour Mission Run Baltimore Distance athlete Casey Comber edged last year’s champion Vincent Ciattei by a 4:02.88 to 4:02.91 margin to grab second.

Prakel, who ran 13;22.78 in the 5,000 meters April 14 at Bryan Clay, also secured a $5,000 prize for the road mile title, becoming only the third male athlete in event history to capture multiple championships, joining David Torrence (2009-11) and Garrett Heath (2013 and 2015).

Prakel produced the fastest all-time mark in Des Moines with his 3:58.3 effort in 2020. Ben Blankenship holds the meet record with his title in 3:55.8 in 2016 in Minnesota.

Nick Randazzo, Kasey Knevelbaard and Jake Gillum were all credited with 4:04 performances to finish fourth, fifth and sixth, followed by Shane Streich and David Ribich both clocking 4:05 for seventh and eighth, Craig Nowak earning ninth in 4:06 and Colin Abert taking 10th in 4:08 in the 17-athlete race.

(04/27/2023) Views: 627 ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

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Elite Fields Released For USATF 1 Mile Road Championships At The Grand Blue Mile

Elite Fields Released For USATF 1 Mile Road Championships At The Grand Blue Mile.

On November 30, 2022, World Athletics, the international governing body of the sports of track and field and road running, announced that an official world record for the road mile would be introduced beginning on January 1, 2023.

The flat and fast Grand Blue Mile course meets all requirements for World Record ratification, quickly distinguishing the 2023 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships as a destination for American athletes aspiring to make history. For immediate ratification, a World Record will require a performance of at least 3:50.00 for the men and 4:19.00 for the women. If the listed standards are not met by September 1, the fastest recorded, record-eligible performances will be recognized as the World Records.

After thousands of recreational and competitive runners have navigated the 1 mile course through downtown Des Moines, more than 40 elite runners will compete for the title of USA Road 1 Mile Champion. Those runners include four former 1 Mile Road Champions in Sam Prakel (2020), Katie Follett (2017), Nikki Hiltz (2019) and the defending men’s champion Vincent Ciattei.

Ciattei won last year’s race in 4:03 but owns a personal best of 3:51 and was an NCAA runner-up in the mile and 1,500m as a collegian at Virginia Tech.

Prakel claimed the title in 2020 in a COVID pandemic-altered race that finished in Drake Stadium. He aims to add a third national title to his resume this year, as he recently claimed USATF indoor titles in the 3,000m and 1,500m. The men’s field also includes faces familiar to the Grand Blue Mile in Shane Streich, who finished third last year, and Abe Alvarado, who was fourth in 2021.

Nikki Hiltz, a champion in the event in 2019, returns to Des Moines fresh from the USATF Indoor Championship in the 1,500m they captured in March. The 2019 Pan-American Games gold medalist was also a 2019 World Championships qualifier.

Sinclaire Johnson joins the field to make her Grand Blue Mile debut after winning the USATF Outdoor 1,500m title in 2022 to earn her a spot at the 2022 World Championships, where she finished sixth.

The women’s lineup also includes a pair of Iowa talents returning to Des Moines in Alex Teubel and Abby Kohut-Jackson. Teubel, an assistant coach at UNI, finished third in last year’s race, and the Lisbon, Iowa, native was an Olympic Trials finalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Kohut-Jackson is a product of Ballard, Iowa, who advanced to the USATF Outdoor Championships finals in the steeplechase and was Big Ten champion in the event at the University of Minnesota.

The fastest road mile ever run on Iowa soil was at the inaugural Grand Blue Mile in 2010, when Boaz Lalang won in 3:54.3. A special incentive has been created for the winner, who eclipses that time or 4:29.3 in the women’s championship race. A performance that is successfully ratified as a new World Record will earn an additional $5,000 bonus.

The full fields are listed below.

Men’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship

Colin Abert

Abe Alvarado

Michael Brannigan

Jacob Brueckman

Luca Chatham

Vincent Ciattei

Casey Comber

Graham Crawford

Owen Hoeft

Austin Dalquist

Jonathan Davis

Kasey Knevelbaard

Nate Mylenek

Craig Nowak

Sam Prakel

Nick Randazzo

David Ribich

Nate Sloan

Shane Streich

Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship

Stephanie Brokaw

Katie Camarena

Alli Cash

Anna Connor

Micaela DeGenero

Katie Follett

Eleanor Fulton

Jessa Hanson

Nikki Hiltz

Marisa Howard

Sinclaire Johnson

Abby Kohut-Jackson

Melissa Menghini

Shannon Osika

Angel Piccirillo

Colleen Quigley

Jenn Randall

Emily Richards

Helen Schlachtenhaufen

Alex Teubel

Emi Trost

Addy Wiley.

(04/12/2023) Views: 639 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

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San Diego runner Nikki Hiltz, set a new Blue Mile record in the Women's Mile

Nikki Hiltz of San Diego set a new Blue Mile record in the women´s Mile Championships clocking 4:30, during The Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines on Tuesday.

Nikki Hiltz and Tripp Hurt raced to the USATF Road 1-Mile National Championship Tuesday evening on the streets of Des Moines as part of the 10th Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Grand Blue Mile.

Hurt won the men’s race in 4:04, in a photo finish as the top-five finishers all finished within a second of each other. Hiltz took the lead of the women’s race off the final turn and held off three-time Grand Blue Mile champion Heather Kampf to set an event record in 4:30.

“It’s not just a road race, it’s the USA Road Mile Championship and it’s my first national championship win,” Hiltz said. “It was awesome and the field definitely gave me a run for my money. We got after it and I knew in the last straightaway we’d switch into a new gear. No one made it easy.”

Hanna Fields was also in the lead pack of the race as she and Hiltz took over the lead from Kampf midway through the race.

The men’s race featured a dramatic finish as Hurt sprinted on the outside to best the talented field to the tape to clip Brandon Lasater by just one two-tenths of a second.

“My teammate, Nick (Harris, who finished third), was next to me and I was thinking we needed to battle and hope one of us got it,” Hurt said of the sprint to the finish. My goal was to stay patient and wait as long as I could to make a move to the front. It paid off.”

Will Leer led early in the race, trailed by a tight pack before Kyle Medina briefly took the lead at the three-minute mark as the leaders made the course’s first turn. Seconds later, as the still tightly bunched pack turned on to Grand Avenue, Daniel Herrera led out front until the pace quickened in the final 200 yards with Tripp moving to the outside of the pack to reach the finish line first.

Hiltz and Hurt each earned $5,000 for the national title as part of $30,000 in total prize money awarded. The participants in the USATF Road 1-Mile Championship races were part of more than 4,000 runners who took part in the 10th Annual Grand Blue Mile. 

(04/24/2019) Views: 2,225 ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

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Emily Lipari is returning to defend her U.S. title at Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines

Grand Blue Mile race officials have announced preliminary fields for the 2019 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships set for Tuesday, April 23, in downtown Des Moines.

A world class group of elite Milers will headline the 10th edition, the first stop on the BBTM Grand Prix Tour 2019 presented by Running Warehouse.

In addition, approximately 3,500 participants from across the nation will compete among the recreational and amateur competitive divisions.

“We’re excited to continue the tradition of welcoming high-profile, high-caliber athletes to Grand Blue Mile in partnership with the Drake Relays,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director.

“As Grand Blue Mile marks its tenth anniversary, being entrusted to host a fifth national championship in 10 years provides even more reason to celebrate the tremendous impact this special event has throughout central Iowa and beyond.”

This year’s race offers a top prize of $5000 each for the men’s & women’s national champions with the potential to earn an additional $2500 for setting a course record — currently 4.00.0 (Clayton Murphy, 2017) and 4:32.7 (Heathef Kampf, 2014), respectively.

Overall, $25,000 in prize money will be contested across the men’s & women’s USA Championship divisions.

In the women’s Open division, returning to defend her U.S. title is Emily Lipari as well as Heather Kampf, three-time Grand Blue Mile champion.

(04/17/2019) Views: 2,086 ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

more...
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96-Year-Old Mike Fremont Sets American Record at Grand Blue Mile

Ninety-six-year-old Mike Fremont of Ohio stopped running marathons when he was 90. On Tuesday, Fremont set his sights on setting a new American record in the road race mile--and he did it. Fremont finished the Grand Blue Mile in 13 minutes 55 seconds. Fremont will attempt a world record in his age group on Friday night in the 800 meters. That race takes place at Drake Stadium. (04/25/2018) Views: 2,040 ⚡AMP
Age-Group Running
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Mike Fremont will be attempting to set an American road mile record, he is 96

96-year-old Cincinnati native Mike Fremont will be running the Grand Blue Mile! April 24 in Des Moines, Iowa. He's attempting to set an American record in the road mile. He is the current single-age world marathon record holder in the 88-and 90-year-old age categories and the single-age world half marathon record holder in the 90 and 91 age categories. “I suggest you have a hearse ready for me at the finish line,” Fremont joked and then said. “I know I’m lucky to still be running, and I don’t want to take a single day for granted.” (04/20/2018) Views: 1,609 ⚡AMP
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Field set for 2018 USATF One Mile Road Championships with $30,000 in prize money

Grand Blue Mile race officials announced the fields for the 2018 USA Track & Field 1 Mile Road Championships set for Tuesday, April 24, in Des Moines, Iowa. A world-class group of elite runners will headline the event along with approximately 3,000 participants from across the nation who will compete among the recreational and amateur competitive divisions. This year's race features a top prize of $5,000 each for the men's and women's champions with the potential to earn an additional $2,500 for setting a new course record — currently 4.00.0 (2017) and 4:32.7 (2014), respectively. Overall, $30,000 in prize money will be contested across the men's and women's championship divisions. Leo Manzano leads the men's field with a PB of 3:50.64. Brenda Martinez leads the women's field with a PB of 4:18.4. (04/13/2018) Views: 2,123 ⚡AMP
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