Osika, Domanic Win 7th GNC Live Well Liberty Mile
Evening downtown Pittsburgh road race offered a $30,000 prize purse; third stop on the BBTM Grand Prix Tour 2018
PITTSBURGH – At the 7th GNC Live Well Liberty Mile on Friday evening in downtown Pittsburgh, the pro races ended in two thrilling finishes as Shannon Osika of Ann Arbor, MI and Robert Domanic of Dallas, TX put on closing bursts to edge their respective fields, clocking 4 minutes, 34 seconds and 4:01, respectively.
On a warm summer evening, two-time defending race champion Ben Blankenship took an early lead on the elongated u-shaped road course on Penn and Liberty Avenues. In the last 200 meters, Blankenship fell back as Patrick Casey, Daniel Herrera, Cristian Soratos, Jake Edwards and Domanic made their move. The pack of five battled it out in a thrilling finish with Domanic, 23, just edging out Casey, 4:00.44 to 4:00.73 (converted to 4:01 official time each per USATF rule). Rio Olympian Blankenship finished 7th in 4:04.
"This way my first road Mile, so I didn't know what to expect. It was tough, but the crowds were great. People were lined up on the street the last 400 meters to go,” said Domanic. “My feet were on fire the last 200 meters. Still, I felt I was in a good position the last 100 meters and was able to finish strong.”
In the women’s race, Eleanor Fulton, Stephanie Brown and Ashley Maton were at the head of the pack through the first half. As the women turned from Penn Avenue onto 11th Street and then onto Liberty Avenue at the 2:20 mark, Osika, 25, made her move to the front. She maintained her lead and charged at the final 200 meters to finish first, clocking 4:34.
"At the beginning of the race, I hung out in the back. When we hit the turn at the halfway point, I went for a better position. Then a little bit before the 200 meters, I pushed it a little and was able to finish strongly," said Osika. "I love road Miles! This particular race has a special place in my heart as I ran it back 2016 when I first turned pro.”
Overall, the event, with approximately 900 participants, featured $30,000 in guaranteed prize money, the second largest Mile prize purse in the USA. Osika and Domanic earned $5000 each as the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile champions.
“We were honored to sponsor the Liberty Mile again this year,” said Ken Martindale, CEO of GNC. “The event attracts the best American runners of all ages & abilities, and at GNC we strive to provide customers with an assortment of products that help bring out their best. It is exciting to be a part of an event that not only brings the Pittsburgh community together, but also encourages members of our community to live healthy lifestyles.”
The event was also the third stop on the Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour 2018. With her win tonight, Osika is now in second place with 14 Tour points, while, for the men, current leader Herrera earned two points tonight to increase his Tour lead by four points at the Tour halfway point.
The next Tour stop is the Ed Murphey Memphis Mile on Saturday, August 25. The guaranteed prize purse for the six Tour events totals $125,000, plus an additional $10,000 for the Grand Prix athletes. Per Tour event per gender, the top six finishers will score points (10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1) with the top four scorers earning Grand Prix money ($2500, $1000, $750 and $500) plus a $250 bonus for the Tour Performance-of-the-Year will be awarded per gender.
7th GNC Live Well Liberty Mile
Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour 2018: Third Stop
Pittsburgh, PA, Friday, July 20, 2018
1) Robert Domanic (TX), 4:01, $5000
2) Patrick Casey (OR), 4:01, $3000
3) Cristian Soratos (MT), 4:02, $2000
4) Jake Edwards (OH), 4:02, $1000
5) Daniel Herrera (OR), 4:03, $750
6) Travis Mahoney (NJ), 4:04, $500
7) Ben Blankenship (OR), 4:04, $250
8) Charlie Marquardt (PA), 4:05
9) Will Leer (CO), 4:06
10) Craig Nowak (SC), 4:06
11) Ford Palmer (NJ), 4:10
12) Brandon Hudgins (NC), 4:10
1) Shannon Osika (MI), 4:34, $5000
2) Stephanie Brown (MT), 4:35, $3000
3) Ashley Maton (CO), 4:36, $2000
4) Sara Sutherland (CO), 4:37, $1000
5) Eleanor Fulton (OR), 4:38, $750
6) Rebecca Addison (MI), 4:38, $500
7) Amanda Eccleston (MI), 4:39, $250
8) Alexina Wilson (IA), 4:39
9) Stephanie Van Pelt (NJ), 4:40
10) Sarah Brown (MA), 4:41
11) Anna Shields (PA), 4:42
12) Hannah Fields (WA), 4:45
The GNC Live Well Liberty Mile, the fastest road Mile in Pennsylvania, offered the second largest guaranteed Mile prize purse in the U.S., including cash prizes for the top five finishers in the Masters Mile presented by UPMC Health Plan. The Masters champions, 40 & older, were Charles Novak, 50, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH and Kelly Annapolen, 46, of Pittsburgh, PA in 4:41 and 5:56, respectively; each took home $500.
For complete results and more, go to: LibertyMile.org