Millrose Games’ glamour is diminished, prestige is not
“The Millrose Games has always been an institution in track & field, and the Wanamaker Mile is the marquee event.”
By Lindsay Crouse, New York Times
If athletes are talented enough to land a coveted spot in the 109th Millrose Games, the elite annual indoor track meet taking place Saturday in Manhattan, they are participating in a relic from a golden era of track & field — one when top athletes were knighted, runners were timed by tuxedo-clad men with gold timepieces and thousands of spectators cheered them on.
But these days, the meet can be as much about traditional prestige as about modern indignities. It is no longer broadcast long into the night to audiences across the country, but, rather, is staged in the afternoon. Instead of racing before 18,000 fans on the tight boards at Madison Square Garden, athletes compete before 4,000 on the capacious 200-meter banked track at the New Balance Track & Field Center in the 168th Street armory in Upper Manhattan.
But these shifts make the drive of those who come to compete in what was once called the “indoor Olympics” — and those who turn up to watch them — seem that much stronger. That devotion is perhaps nowhere more on display than in the flagship event at Millrose, the Wanamaker Mile.
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