Initial Fields Announced for 2016 Sir Walter Miler
HS sub-4 Mile star Drew Hunter to make professional debut on August 5
From Sir Walter Running
For the third year running, the Sir Walter Miler will again return to its standard first Friday night spot on August 5, 2016 at the Meredith College Track. Last year, the Sir Walter Miler was called the “best glimpse of future growth for American track” by Sports Illustrated. The 2016 event will feature elite Men’s and Women’s Mile races, a USATF North Carolina State Mile Championship, and a Run Club Mile Relay. The event is free and open to the public. The event will again be broadcast live internationally on FloTrack.org
In 2015, nearly 2000 spectators watched Steph Garcia, Amanda Eccleston and Heather Wilson run the top three Mile times in the World for the 2015 Outdoor Season. Garcia finished in a state record time of 4:28.84, to become the 58th American to run under the hallowed 4:30 barrier. Eccleston (4:29.06) and Wilson (4:29.39) became the 59th and 60th members of the club, respectively. In the Mens race, Robby Andrews used a big sprint to lead five men under the 4:00 barrier, in a brisk 3:57.38. Andrews will represent Team USA in Rio this Summer. Following Andrews was Kyle Merber (3:57.97), Jack Bolas (3:58.83), and first timers Lex Williams (3:59.40) and Brandon Hudgins (3:59.67). Williams and Hudgins became the 447th and 448th Americans to run under 4 minutes for the storied distance.
Coming off of the record-setting 2015 Sir Walter Miler, athletes will compete for an improved prize purse of $5000, including a $250 ‘Stiner State Record Bonus’ (presented by Stiner Massage) for breaking the existing outdoor state records, which are currently held by Ken Popejoy (3:57.3) and Stephanie Garcia (4:28.84). Bonuses will be given for any first time sub-4:00 (Men) and sub-4:30 (Women) Milers as well.
The 2016 Women’s field is highlighted by many athletes that ran in the 1500 meter final at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, including Amanda Eccleston (4th), Morgan Uceny (5th), Sara Vaughn (7th), Lauren Johnson (8th) and Stephanie Brown (10th). Nicole Tully was a finalist in the 5000 meters. The Women’s field also includes two former Olympians in Uceny (2012 – 1500m) and Anna Willard (2008 – Steeplechase).
The 2016 Men’s field also includes multiple athletes that recently ran in the 2016 Olympic Trials 1500 meter final, including Johnny Gregorek (6th), Colby Alexander (7th) and Kyle Merber (9th). Donnie Cowart, Craig Forys (who will pace the field), and Cory Leslie were finalists in the Steeplechase.
The race will be Drew Hunter’s professional debut. Hunter made waves this year in becoming the 8th high school athlete to run a sub-4 minute Mile, then by foregoing his college career in signing a 10-year deal with adidas that will pay for his education at the university of his choosing.
Races will start at 8:20pm at Meredith, with the popular pre- and post-party will again being held at Raleigh Brewing Company, where Bo’s Kitchen will be on hand, serving up Korean Street Food. More information about the pre- and post-party is forthcoming.
The Sir Walter Miler weekend kicks off Thursday night with a private dinner for the athletes at Mash & Lauter, then will offer multiple opportunities for fans to meet (and run with) the athletes. The ‘Sir Walter Miler VIS (Very Important Spectator) Experience’ will allow fans to get one step closer the night of. Sir Walter Running will provide a one of a kind swag bag, VIS lanyard, exclusive half-zip jacket, finish line viewing (in the Great Outdoor Provision Co. VIS area), and an up close and personal look at the athletes post-race, as they give interviews to FloTrack. The free ‘Run with the Pros’ event will be led by local Oiselle athlete, Andie Cozzarelli, at 9:00am on Saturday, August 6th, at the Harrison Avenue entrance of Umstead Park. Fans are invited to come run 4-plus miles with the elite athletes, and will be treated to coffee and bagels afterwards (and a free Sir Walter Miler coffee mug, while they last), and an opportunity to try out an Elliptigo. Arrow Haircuts (& Pedro Williams) will provide complimentary cuts to all elite athletes competing, and b.good North Hills will be providing their post-race meals. For those sticking around Saturday night, an “adults-only” run will be taking place, starting at Runologie.
The Sir Walter Miler is promoted by Sir Walter Running, a Raleigh-based USATF club composed of Sandy Roberts, Logan Robert and Pat Price; with additional help from Jeff Caron, Greg Dame and the 2016 interns. Sir Walter Running also produces the Pop Up Miles series in Raleigh every June and the Raleigh RunDown Downhill Mile. These events could not happen without generous donations from individuals and companies in the community. To donate or learn more, check out SirWalterMiler.com
Colby Alexander – HOKA ONE ONE / NJ-NY Track Club
Jack Bolas – NJ-NY Track Club
Donnie Cowart – Saucony
Johnny Gregorek – ASICS
Drew Hunter – adidas
Cory Leslie – Nike / Furman Elite
Kyle Merber – HOKA ONE ONE / NJ-NY Track Club
Ford Palmer – HOKA ONE ONE / NJ-NY Track Club
Blake Williams – Pop Up Miles Champ
Lex Williams – Saucony
Craig Forys – Furman Elite (pace)
Stephanie Brown – Nike
Amanda Eccleston – Brooks
Lianne Farber – New Balance NorCal
Brook Handler – Brooks
Heather Kampf – ASICS / Team USA Minnesota
Sarah Rapp – Pop Up Miles Champ
Rachel Schneider – Under Armour
Nicole Tully – HOKA ONE ONE / NJ-NY Track Club
Morgan Uceny – adidas
Sara Vaughn – Brooks / Boulder Track Club
Anna Willard – Oiselle
Stephanie Herrick – Central Park Track Club New Balance (pace)