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Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark announces 2022 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships results

Joining more than 2,000 participants in-person and virtually from 27 states and three countries as part of the 2022 Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, an elite group of world-class milers ran in Downtown Des Moines today to contest the prestigious Men’s and Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championships presented by Toyota®. The evening’s events, kicking off a week of competition at the Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom®, also included the Grand Blue Mile’s recreational and competitive divisions and the Iowa Kidstrong Celebration of Champions ¼-mile fun run.

USATF 1 Mile Road Championships

More than two dozen of America’s best milers traveled to Des Moines to vie for a national title and a share of the championship prize purse.

  • 2022 Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship
    Emily Lipari claimed the 2022 women’s championship with a time of 4:32.30, this is her third time winning the USATF 1 Mile Road Champion at Grand Blue Mile. Jen Randall and Alexina Teubel finished in second and third place with times of 4:32.68 and 4:34.28, respectively.
  • 2022 Men’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship
    Vincent Ciattei claimed the 2022 men’s championship with a time of 4:03.20. Paul Ryan and Shane Streich finished in second and third place, with times of 4:03.74 and 4:04.12, respectively.

A total of $25,000 in prize money was up for grabs in the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, with each men’s and women’s champion receiving $5,000. The prize breakdown for each championship:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
$5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,250 $1,000 $500 $300 $200 $150 $100

Mascot Madness Charity Challenge

Cy with Iowa State University was the winner of the annual Mascot Madness Charity Challenge and took home a $1,000 prize for their charitable foundation. Cy edged out T.C. with the University of Northern Iowa and Herky with University of Iowa who finished in second and third place, respectively.

Additional race results from this and previous Grand Blue Mile events are posted at: http://www.grandbluemile.com/results/.

The 14th Annual Grand Blue Mile is scheduled to take place on April 25, 2023.

Fields taking shape for 2022 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships at Grand Blue Mile

Still time for communities to stake their claim in the Set the Pace Challenge

Grand Blue Mile officials from Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® and the Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom® announced preliminary fields for the 2022 USA Track & Field (USATF) 1 Mile Road Championships presented by Toyota® set for Tuesday, April 26, in Des Moines. A world-class group of elite milers will headline the event along with more than 2,000 participants from across the nation who will compete among the competitive and community recreational divisions, in person or virtually.

“We’re excited to continue our longstanding tradition of welcoming America’s best athletes to the Grand Blue Mile in partnership with the Drake Relays,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation and alliance manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “These athletes embody the true spirit of the Grand Blue Mile — a commitment to healthy habits and the perseverance to achieve their goals. Whether you’re a running enthusiast aiming for a new personal best or simply enjoying a walk with your family, we can’t wait to see you on April 26.”

This year’s race features a top prize of $5,000 each for the men’s and women’s champions. Overall, $25,000 in prize money will be contested across the men’s and women’s championships.

In the men’s division, returning is two-time Olympian in the 800m and 2017 GBM Champion Clayton Murphy. He will be joined by:

  • Ben Blankenship – 2016 Olympian and two-time U.S. Champion
  • Bryce Richards – Medalist in the mile for Kansas in the Big 12
  • Colin Abert – 6th place Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Mile in road mile debut
  • Craig Nowak – Two-time Drake Relays Champion in the 4×1600 and DMR with Oklahoma State
  • Diego Zarate – All-American in the1500m at Virginia Tech, making his road mile debut
  • Hillary Bor – Two-time Olympian in the 3000m steeplechase, Drake Stadium Record Holder Steeplechase
  • Jake Edwards – 2019 Drake Relays Champion in the Invitational Mile
  • Josh Yeager – 2021 Drake Relays Steeplechase champion, Missouri Valley Conference Champion in the 5K while representing Drake, former Iowa prep at Center Point-Urbana HS
  • Luca Chatham – NCAA Qualifier for UTSA, Conference USA 800m Champion
  • Matt Cooper – All-American at UW-Eau Claire
  • Nate Sloan – Atlantic Coast Conference 1500m runner-up for University of Pittsburgh
  • Paul Ryan – 2021 Olympic Trials 1500m semi-finalist, All-American 1500m for Washington State
  • Shane Streich – American Record Holder Indoor 1000m, 2021 All-American Lipscomb
  • Vincent Ciattei – 2021 Olympic Trial 1500m finalist, 2018 NCAA Indoor Gold Medalist DMR at Virginia Tech
  • Willy Fink – Two-time NCAA qualifier Steeplechase, 2016 2nd place Drake Relays Steeplechase

In the women’s division, Emily Lipari returns in pursuit of a third championship, having won the event in 2018 and 2020. She will be joined by:

  • Abbey (D’Agostino) Cooper – 2016 Olympian in the 5,000m, 7x NCAA Champion for Dartmouth
  • Alex Teubel – 2021 Olympic Trials finalist in the Steeplechase, Missouri Valley Conference champion at UNI, Iowa state champion at Mt. Vernon-Lisbon HS
  • Allie Wilson – Two-time All-American in the 800m at Monmouth
  • Andrea Ertz – Second fastest women’s NAIA 800m, 8x NAIA All-American at Mt. Mercy, Iowa prep at Marion HS
  • Anna Connor – Road mile PR of 4:48 at the 2018 Grand Blue Mile
  • Emily Richards – 9x NCAA Division 3 National Champion at Ohio Northern
  • Gina McNamara – Big Ten medalist in the 800m for Michigan
  • Jamie Morrissey – Big Ten 800 champion, Two-time All-American for Michigan
  • Jenn Randall – Two-time All-American for Ithaca
  • Karisa Nelson – 2017 NCAA Mile Champion, 2019 runner-up at Samford University
  • Katie Follett – 2017 GBM Champion, All-American for University of Washington
  • Lauren Berman – All-American at Virginia Tech
  • Sammy George – All-American at North Carolina State, 7th at 2021 Drake Relays 1500m

Set the Pace and win $10,000 for your community

Also returning to the Grand Blue Mile is Wellmark’s Set the Pace Challenge. As part of the challenge, the community with the highest percentage of residents participating in Grand Blue Mile ─ either in person and/or virtually ─ will win $10,000 to use on a project that promotes safe, inclusive and accessible places in which to be active.

Participation in Grand Blue Mile will be tracked via the ZIP Code of each registrant and weighed against their community’s total population. The current leaderboard (city/ZIP) is:

  • Columbus Junction (52738)
  • Windsor Heights (50324)
  • Cumming (50061)
  • Des Moines (50312)
  • Des Moines (50311)

“With registration open through April 26, there’s still plenty of time to get your community in the running for this impactful award,” said Verlengia.

Register today

Registration for the in-person event is $20 for youth and $25 for adults and the virtual event is $25, all participants will receive a Grand Blue Mile event shirt and race bib. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of Iowans, all proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.

USATF Men’s and Women’s 1 Mile Road Championships Return to Grand Blue Mile

Des Moines set to host eighth national championship in 10 years

Grand Blue Mile officials from Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® and Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom announced the USA Track & Field (USATF) 1 Mile Road Championships presented by Toyota® will be returning in 2022 as part of the annual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark on April 26. The addition of the prestigious USATF 1 Mile Road Championships elevates the elite-level competition of the Grand Blue Mile and is expected to attract Olympians and world championship participants from across the country to vie for a national title and share of the $25,000 prize purse. The Grand Blue Mile also hosted the 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships and Des Moines is the host city for the championships through 2023.

“Hosting these championships has become a special part of the Grand Blue Mile tradition and a unique opportunity to share the road with some truly inspiring athletes — whether that’s running to set a new personal best time or simply enjoying a walk with your family,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation and alliance lead and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “With so much to see and do, there’s something for everyone at the Grand Blue Mile, and we’re grateful USATF continues to support our vision for the event.”

Early entrants for 2022 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships at Grand Blue Mile include:

  • Clayton Murphy, Olympic Bronze Medalist, 2017 GBM Champion
  • Shane Streich, American Record Holder 1000 meters
  • Emily Lipari, 2018 GBM Champion and 2020 USATF 1 Mile Champion
  • Katie Follett, 2017 GBM Champion

“The USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in partnership with the Grand Blue Mile are truly a premier event,” said Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “I am proud that our team has brought such an elite championship to Des Moines for the sixth consecutive year ─ eight total. Central Iowa is the perfect host for amazing athletes, families, friends and milers.”

The 2021 event took place on April 20 during the Drake Relays at Drake University. Eric Avila won the men’s championship with a time of 3:58.96, the second-fastest time in the event’s history. The women’s championship was captured by Rachel Schneider with a time of 4:30.26.

Still time to register

Join the fun and register for the 2022 Grand Blue Mile at grandbluemile.com, then participate in the setting that suits you best — either in-person or virtually. 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 youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.

Wellmark’s Set the Pace Challenge returns to Grand Blue Mile

Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® announces the return of the Set the Pace Challenge during the Grand Blue Mile. This year, registrants can participate virtually or in person on April 26 in downtown Des Moines, coinciding with the 112th edition of the Drake Relays presented by Xtream® powered by Mediacom®. The challenge encourages Iowans and South Dakotans to develop sustainable, healthy habits to adopt throughout 2022.

As part of the challenge, one Iowa community and one South Dakota community with the highest percentage of its residents participating in the in-person or virtual Grand Blue Mile — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against its total population — will be awarded $10,000 to use on a project that promotes safe, inclusive and accessible places in which to be active, such as a park, playground or trail. Additional information and resources, including past project videos and a digital toolkit for communities are available at GrandBlueMile.com/SetThePace.

“Participating in Wellmark’s Set the Pace Challenge couldn’t be easier this year as we’re giving Iowans and South Dakotans the opportunity to engage in the setting that suits them best — in person or virtually,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation & alliance manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “Wellmark constantly strives to improve community health and this challenge provides a tremendous incentive for Iowans and South Dakotans to enjoy a family-friendly physical activity, while working together to create inclusive and accessible green spaces, right in their own hometowns.”

Register Now

Registration for the 2022 virtual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is now open at grandbluemile.com. 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 youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.

Registration for the 2022 Grand Blue Mile now open

Registration for the 2022 Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® opens today with a two-day, $10 flash sale. This year, registrants have the opportunity to participate virtually or in person on April 26 in downtown Des Moines, coinciding with the 112th edition of the Drake Relays presented by Xtream® powered by Mediacom®.

“We’re excited to celebrate the 13th Annual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark — but in a modified, hybrid format that ensures all participants can join the fun in the setting that suits them best,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation & alliance manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “This event has always been about encouraging individuals and families to get moving and embrace simple, healthy habits and Wellmark remains committed to that goal.”

“This year, Wellmark and the Drake Relays presented by Xtream look forward to providing the Grand Blue Mile experience to an even larger audience,” said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “We’re thrilled to be ‘Back on Track’ in 2022, returning to the streets of downtown Des Moines to host America’s best athletes, fitness enthusiasts, walkers and runners alike, while also expanding the reach of our virtual engagement to communities throughout the Midwest.”

Registration for the Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is now open at GrandBlueMile.com. The $10 flash sales end promptly at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 16, after which, regularly priced youth registration is $15, and adults are $20. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve, all proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong youth fitness programs and support student participation in the annual Drake Relays.

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