Grand Blue Mile race officials announced preliminary fields for the 2019 USA Track & Field 1 Mile Road Championships set for Tuesday, April 23, in Des Moines. A world-class group of elite milers will headline the event along with approximately 3,500 participants from across the nation who will compete among the recreational and amateur competitive divisions.
Courtesy of the drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Emily Lipari The Wins Grand Blue Mile ©Jim Kirby 2018
“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 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.
In the men’s division, returning to defend his title is Riley Masters. He will be joined by:
· Harun Abda
· Julius Bor
· Mikey Brannigan
· Joe Coffee
· Jake Edwards
· David Elliott
· Nick Harris
· Daniel Herrera
· Tripp Hurt
· Lawi Lalang
· Brandon Lasater
· Will Leer
· Mile Marsella
· Kyle Medina
· Kyle Merber
· Chad Noelle
· Jay Welp
In the women’s division, returning to defend her title is Emily Lipari. She will be joined by Heather Kampf, three-time Grand Blue Mile champion, and:
· Grace Barnett
· Savannah Camacho-Colon
· Hannah Fields
· Therese Haiss
· Rebecca Hehra
· Nikki Hiltz
· Marisa Howard
· Rebecca Mehra
· Shannon Osika
· Megan Rolland
· Ashley Stinson
· Maddie Van Beek
· Alexina Wilson
Additional entries to the Men’s and Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championships fields will be finalized next week.
Mascot Madness Charity Challenge returns
Iowa’s most popular mascots are back to compete against each other in the Mascot Madness Charity Challenge. Mascots will run the backstretch of the Grand Blue Mile race course in a friendly competition. The winning mascot from each division will be awarded a $1,000 prize for their school or organization’s charitable foundation.
Confirmed mascots in the “fast” division include:
- Viktor (Grandview University)
- Rosie the Reader (Des Moines Public Library)
- Wanda the Wallaby (Blank Park Zoo)
- Sam the Ram (Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired)
Confirmed mascots in the “furriest” division include:
· Champ (Iowa Games)
· TC (University of Northern Iowa)
· Cubbie Bear (Iowa Cubs)
· Spike (Drake University)
· Cy (Iowa State University)
· Herky (University of Iowa)
Youth and adult registration for the Grand Blue Mile is $20 and $25, respectively, with proceeds supporting school-based wellness programs in association with Iowa Kidstrong and the historic Drake Relays.
For more information and to register, visit GrandBlueMile.com.
About the Grand Blue Mile
The Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, in partnership with the Drake Relays, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. The annual wellness event includes recreational, competitive and invitational events featuring a field of elite male and female track and field athletes from around the world. Proceeds from the event benefit Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles among youth. For more information about the Grand Blue Mile, visit www.grandbluemile.com.
Wellmark, Inc. (Wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.