Menís and Womenís Course Records Fall At The 2013 Grand Blue Mile
DES MOINES, Iowa – Kate Grace and Garrett Heath broke course records to claim the USA 1 Mile Road Race Championships Tuesday night at the Wellmark Grand Blue Mile in downtown Des Moines.
Grace’s record time of 4:43.02 allowed her to defeat two-time defending Grand Blue Mile champion, Sara Hall, who finished in 4:43.61.
Heath claimed the men’s championship with a sprint to the finish in the final 100 meters to triumph in a course record time of 4:02.79. Second-place finisher Jeff See also finished under the previous record with a time of 4:02.91. 2012 London Olympics 1,500-meter silver medalist Leo Manzano ran 4:03.59 to place third.
“It was great out there today,” Heath said upon being crowned the 2013 USA 1 Mile Road Race Champion. “Even though it was a little cold, it feels pretty special to win the championship so close to home and in front of my dad and some friends and family.”
Originally from Winona, Minn., Heath competed collegiately at Stanford University where he earned All-America honors eight times and participated in the 2008 Olympic Trials semifinals in the 1,500 meters.
Grace was a four-time All-American at Yale and a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials semifinalist.
“It was fun, we did some speed work last week and I felt confident that I had a good kick in me,” Grace said. “But everyone does, so it was a little nerve-wracking at the end there. It’s surreal to be the USA 1 Mile champion and it feels unbelievable to have this U.S. flag draped over me.”
It was a historic field in the women’s race, with the first six competitors across the line breaking the previous course record of 4:45.66. Aside from Grace and Hall, Heather Kampf (4:43.69), Sarah Bowman (4:44.09), Gabriele Anderson (4:44.09), and Shannon Rowbury (4:45.39) all topped the former record.
“This field had so many amazing runners,” Grace said. “I knew I was strong, but I still felt like an underdog. My coach and I knew I had a good shot.”
Grace and Heath each collected the top prize of $5,000 and an additional $2,500 reward for setting a course record. Overall, 23 professional milers, including nearly a half-dozen Olympians raced for $30,000 in purse money.
Former Drake track and cross country standout Matt Jurysta won the men’s competitive division in 4:18.45. Jurysta competed for the Bulldogs beginning in 2009 on track squad and spent one year, 2011, on the cross country team.
More than 4,000 runners of all ages took part in the evening’s series of races on a cold day in Des Moines. Elite athletes, competitive and recreational runners and corporate teams competed in six separate events. Most fought the cold after their runs to cheer on the elite competitors running the USA 1 Mile Road Championships. Many of those elite runners will remain in Des Moines and compete in the Drake Relays mile and 1,500-meter races at Drake Stadium on Saturday.
The Grand Blue Mile will again host the USA 1 Mile Road Race Championships in 2014 as a precursor to the 105th running of the Drake Relays.
Grand Blue Mile – USA 1 Mile Road Race Championships
1. Garrett Heath, 4:02.79 – Course Record
2. Jeff See, 4:02.91
3. Leonel Manzano, 4:03.59
4. Craig Miller, 4:03.60
5. Travis Mahoney, 4:04.47
6. Mile Batty, 4:04.53
7. Liam Boylan-Pett, 4:06.11
8. AJ Acosta, 4:06.34
9. Tony Filipek, 4:08.52
10. Brian Gagnon, 4:09.98
1. Kate Grace, 4:43.02 – Course Record
2. Sara Hall, 4:43.61
3. Heather Kampf, 4:43.69
4. Sarah Bowman, 4:44.09
5. Gabriele Anderson, 4:44.80
6. Shannon Rowbury, 4:45.39
7. Alice Schmidt, 4:46.15
8. Renee Tomlin, 4:46.73
9. Ashley Miller, 4:50.29
10. Kellyn Johnson, 4:50.74
11. Geena Gall, 4:51.48
12. Meghan Peyton, 4:54.10
13. Dawn Grunnagle, 4:57.59