USA Track & Field will hold its 2013 and 2014 one-mile road championships in Des Moines as part of the annual Grand Blue Mile event, officials from the Drake Relays and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Tuesday.
The addition of the prestigious USA 1 Mile Road Championships elevates the elite-level competition and is expected to attract Olympic-caliber athletes from across the country to vie for a national title and a share of the $30,000 prize purse, officials said.
"We are very pleased to add the Grand Blue Mile to the USA Running Circuit," said Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track & Field, in a release. "With a talented field of professional milers and a unique environment for spectators we look forward to having the USA 1 Mile Championships in Des Moines prior to the USA Outdoor Championships in June."
The Grand Blue Mile has already hosted several top national and international athletes during its three-year history, including Sara Hall, who established a women's course record of 4:45 in 2012, and Peter Van Der Westhuizen, who established the men's course record of 4:02, also in 2012. Several 2012 Olympians are expected to participate in the 2013 event and will be announced closer to the event date.
The 2012 USA 1 Mile Road Championships, which were held in Minneapolis, attracted more than 4,100 registrants, who participated in the elite, competitive, recreational run/walk and corporate team categories.
More than 2,500 people are already registered for the 2013 event, which is scheduled for April 23. 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 www.grandbluemile.com.