Mile News

Elite Fields set for USATF 1 Mile Road Championships at the Grand Blue Mile

April 17, 2024

Past national champions Ciattei, Lipari, Smith headline in the title and $25,000 prize money chase in downtown Des Moines on World Record Way

From Drake Relays

DES MOINES, Iowa – The USA Track & Field 1 Mile Road Championships, hosted as part of the Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, will again bring some the nation's top Milers to downtown Des Moines and for the first time ever they will finish on "World Record Way" on Tuesday evening, April 23.

"The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships have become a staple of the Drake Relays," Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays Blake Boldon said. "This event has built a reputation among the discipline's most competitive runners as a premier destination, and this year's race will continue that tradition. The fact that so many of the 1 Mile road racers are sticking around to compete on the Blue Oval is an added bonus that demonstrates the significance of our events in an Olympic year."

The women's national championship event is set for 7:15pm followed by the men's championship race at 7:30pm and shown live on The recreational and competitive Grand Blue Mile races are set to start at 6:00pm leading up to the eventual professional contests. Spots are still available for runners and walkers of all abilities for those races at

Sam Prakel and Nikki Hiltz, last year's USATF 1 Mile Road champions, were awarded the inaugural world records in the discipline, 4:01.21 and 4:27.97, after blazing through the downtown course. Those records were officially ratified in September 2023 by World Athletics. That same month, the City of Des Moines announced an honorary name change to the stretch of 13th Street between Grand Avenue and Locust Street as "World Record Way". This year's contestants will aim to prove that moniker true and chase down another unprecedented Mile road race mark.

The men's pro field features another excellent crop of contenders. Vince Ciattei leads a quintet of returners from last year's event. He finished fourth a year ago and won the USA title here in 2022. Ciattei is in top form and ran his Mile personal record last month indoors with a 3:50.56 mark. He comes to Des Moines with a chance to break the current world record of 3:56.13 by Hobbs Kessler, set at the 2023 World Road Running Championships.

Two other returners will also be hunting the world record with PRs under that mark. Kasey Knevelbaard, the fifth-place finish at the 2023 edition, has previously posted an indoor Mile PR of 3:55.92. John Reniewicki adds to the field with an excellent indoor Mile PR of his own at 3:51.72.

Other returners include outstanding road racer Nick Randazzo, Drake Relays veteran and American 1000m record holder Shane Streich, and 2021 USA Road Mile place winner Abe Alvarado. Ben Veatch, a seven-time NCAA qualifier and Alec Basten, another Relays veteran and USA Championship finalist, also entered in the spring classic Mile road race.

The men's field is rounded out by a handful of wildcard competitors in NAIA national champion Tim Thacker, Tanner Maier in his road Mile debut, plus Macauley Franks, an NCAA Division II All-American. Other challengers include Jake Gillum, last year's sixth-place winner, two more first-time runners in Caleb Webb and Sair Salgado and an All-American steeplechaser in Riley Osen. Mikey Brannigan, a Paralympic gold medalist, fills out the final spot in a unique position as the first paralympic ambulatory athlete to break 4 minutes in the Mile.

The women's pro race will feature a diverse collection of veteran runners alongside racers making their road track debuts. Nearly half of the field will be competing in their first-ever road Mile.

The more seasoned portion of the women's road race is highlighted by three-time USA Road Mile champion Emily Lipari. All three of her road national crowns came in Des Moines between 2018-22. Four other returners join Lipari including 2022 fourth-place finisher and current USATF Indoor 800m champion Allie Wilson, 2023 place winners Micaela DeGenero and Alex Teubel and Rachel (née Schneider) Smith, 2021 USA Road Mile champion in Des Moines. That field is completed by collegiate stars-turned pros Maria Seykora, Emi Trost and Anna Camp Bennett.

The 15th edition will award a $25,000 USA Championship prize purse, going 10-deep ($5000 national champion, $2500 national runner-up, $1500, $1250, $1000, $500, $300, $200, $150 and $100) plus $2500 for an event record.

Several of the men's road Mile participants will also hit the Blue Oval and compete in the elite 1500m run. Reniewicki, Ciattei, Knevelbard, Brannigan, Franks and Randazzo will all double up at the Drake Relays on Saturday, April 27.

Like the men's section, the women's elite 1500m will be comprised of several repeat runners taking part in the USA 1 Mile Road Championship earlier in the week. Teubel, Tanaka, McArthur, Bennett, Wilson, DeGenero, Hurley and Lipari will make their way to Drake Stadium for their second event of the 2024 Relays.

The 15th Grand Blue Mile is again a Bring Back the Mile Featured Event, showcasing America's best Mile races throughout the year, and for the 8th straight year, the event is also hosting the USA 1 Mile Road Championships after previously hosting the national championships in 2013-14.

Tags: vince ciattei (13) , usatf 1 mile road championships (19) , rachel schneider (28) , kasey knevelbaard (1) , grand blue mile (48) , emily lipari (51) , blake boldon (14) , bbtm featured event (29) , anna camp bennett (2) , allie wilson (1)

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