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Grand Blue Mile announces elite fields for 2013 USA Men's & Women's 1 Mile Road Championships

Central location and prize purse attract world-class competition to Des Moines

April 12, 2013

Grand Blue Mile (GBM) officials have announced the elite fields for the 2013 USA Men’s & Women’s 1 Mile Road Championships set for Tuesday, April 23, in Des Moines. A world-class group of elite runners will headline the event along with a crowd of more than 4,000 participants who will compete among the recreational and competitive divisions. The Grand Blue Mile is an annual event sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays.


This year’s race features a top prize of $5,000 each for the men’s and women’s champions, with the potential to earn an additional $2,500 for setting a new course record.  Overall, $30,000 in prize money will be contested across the men’s and women’s championship divisions. Vying for a national title and a share of the prize purse are several Olympians and more than 20 professional milers, including:


Men’s Division

  • Leonel "Leo" Manzano
    • 9-time NCAA All-American (University of Texas)
    • 2-time Olympian (1500m, ’08, ’12)
    • 2012 Olympic Silver medalist (1500m)
    • Mile personal record: 3:50.64
  • Will Leer
    • 8-time NCAA Division III All-American (Pomona College)
    • 2-time USA Olympic trials finalist (1500m, ’08, ’12)
    • 2013 USA Indoor Champion (mile)
    • Mile personal record: 3:55.66 (indoors)
  • Craig Miller
    • 8-time NCAA All-American (University of Wisconsin)
    • 2012 USA Olympic trials finalist (1500m)
    • 2012 USA 1 Mile Road Champion
    • Mile personal record: 3:56.41

Women’s Division                 

  • Shannon Rowbury
    • 6-time NCAA All-American (Duke University)
    • 2-time Olympian (1500m, ’08, ’12)
    • 2-time Olympic finalist (1500m, ’08, ’12)
    • Mile personal record: 4:20.34
  • Christin Wurth-Thomas
    • 4-time NCAA All-American (University of Arkansas)
    • 2008 USA Indoor Champion (1500m)
    • 2008 Olympian (1500m)
    • Mile personal record: 4:27.18 (indoors)
  • Sara Hall
    • 7-time NCAA All-American (Stanford University)
    • 2-time Grand Blue Mile Champion (’11, ’12)
    • 2011 USA 1 Mile Road Champion
    • Mile personal record: 4:31.50 (indoors)

The complete listing of all confirmed championship participants can be found on the Grand Blue Mile website at:   


"We’re extremely pleased with the quality of athletes who have committed to race in the Grand Blue Mile," said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark senior sponsorships consultant. "The championships are shaping up to be highly competitive, and will feature some of the sport’s rising stars, along with a great number of America’s most accomplished milers."


The 2013 USA 1 Mile Road Championships are scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. following a series of recreational and amateur divisions designed for the general public. Elite athletes will look to best the standing course records of 4:02.99, established by Peter Van Der Westhuizen in 2012, and 4:45.66, established by Sara Hall, also in 2012. The one-mile course loops through the streets of downtown Des Moines, finishing in downtown’s Western Gateway.


For more information or to register for the Grand Blue Mile, go to         

About the Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in partnership with the Drake Relays, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. The annual wellness event includes recreational, competitive and invitational events featuring a field of elite male and female track and field athletes from around the world. Proceeds from the event benefit Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles among youth. For more information about the Grand Blue Mile, visit


About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. ( ) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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