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March 04, 2021

DES MOINES, IA – South Dakotans are invited to register today and join the many runners, joggers and walkers participating in the 2021 Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®. Officials from Wellmark and the Drake Relays announced the one-mile community road race will be held virtually from April 17–25 to coincide with the 111th Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom®.

"In 2010, Wellmark and the Drake Relays established the Grand Blue Mile — a one-mile road race open to both recreational and competitive participants across the nation, which took place in downtown Des Moines," said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark's senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. "The Grand Blue Mile was created to encourage sustainable healthy habits and empower positive change. This year's virtual format affords us an incredible opportunity to now share the Grand Blue Mile experience with all South Dakotans in a meaningful way. Whether participants walk, jog, or run the mile, it's all about getting and staying active."

"Our mantra for 2021 is 'Your Race. Your Pace. Your Place' — that will prove especially true for our participants in every corner of the country, including America's best athletes, fitness enthusiasts, walkers and families alike," said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. "This special event has always been about encouraging people to get moving and we’re excited to take that message to an even larger audience this year."

Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge encourages communities to get moving

South Dakota residents will have the opportunity to earn $10,000 for their community, simply by participating in the 2021 virtual Grand Blue Mile. As part of the Wellmark Set the Pace Challenge, the South Dakota community with the highest percentage of its residents participating in the 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 here External Site.

"Wellmark is passionate about promoting community health and this award provides a great incentive for residents to rally around in making a positive difference for South Dakota," said Verlengia. The benefits are two-fold: participants will be engaging in a fun, physical activity, all while making a concerted effort to better their communities."

Register today

Registration for the 2021 virtual Grand Blue Mile presented by Wellmark is available at grandbluemile.com External Site. For just $10 each, participants receive a 2021 Grand Blue Mile event shirt and race bib shipped directly to their door.