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2020 Grand Blue Mile registration opens with $10 flash sale

Registration for the 11th annual Grand Blue Mile on April 21 opens Feb. 11 with a $10, two-day flash sale, officials from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays jointly announced. This deeply discounted price is available for all ages through Feb. 12. Join thousands of runners, joggers and walkers in downtown Des Moines for America’s second-largest one-mile community race.

“Since its inception, Grand Blue Mile has had a tremendous and demonstrable impact on the health of our communities,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “The event has encouraged more than 40,000 Iowans to get moving and embrace simple, healthy habits, because it serves as a springboard for families, friends and neighbors to come together, set a goal and share the thrill of crossing their own finish line.”

“Grand Blue Mile enters its 11th year positioned as the second-largest community road mile race in the nation,” said Blake Boldon, Director of the Drake Relays. “From the beginning of our partnership, Wellmark and the Drake Relays committed to making this event accessible to Iowans of all abilities. We’ve held fast to that promise and look forward to hosting a record number of finishers again in 2020.”

The $10 flash sales ends promptly at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 12, after which regularly priced registration is $15 for youth and $20 for adults. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of Iowans, all proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong school fitness programs and the historic Drake Relays.

Grand Blue Mile to reduce carbon footprint

New this year, Wellmark and the Drake Relays are working together to emphasize sustainability and reduce the event’s environmental impact. Grand Blue Mile is seeking to become the first event in Iowa to be certified by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) — the international authority for environmentally conscious participatory and spectator sports. CRS-certified events, including the NCAA Final Four, MLB All-Star Game and USATF Olympic Track & Field Trials, among others, are some of the world’s foremost examples of responsible sport in action.

“As part of the certification process, we’re working diligently to assess all aspects of Grand Blue Mile and identify opportunities for improvement,” said Boldon. “Going forward, participants can expect to see a reduction in single-use plastics and printed materials, with an eye toward water conservation as well. These simple measures, combined with additional new and innovative ideas, will result in an even better Grand Blue Mile experience for all our participants.”

“Wellmark has a proud history of being a good steward of our natural resources,” said Verlengia. “Having served the state for more than 80 years, we recognize our responsibility to think sustainably and embrace the opportunity to shape the next decade of Grand Blue Mile through this certification. We’re excited to create a benchmark for reporting our performance improvements year over year, and hope this effort creates a model for other events to aspire to as we aim to raise our collective consciousness.”