Registration Open for Seventh Annual Grand Blue Mile

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (March 10, 2016) — The seventh annual Grand Blue Mile on April 26 will welcome thousands of runners and walkers to downtown Des Moines. This community street run kicks off the 107thDrake Relays. It is an annual tradition for many of America’s best professional runners as well as individuals and families at all fitness stages. “Grand Blue Mile was created to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark sponsorship manager. “This event is unique in that all categories of participants — from recreational to competitive to elite — are equally represented. Grand Blue Mile is engaging Iowans at all levels of fitness, which is an excellent start to improving the overall health of our state.” New this year, Grand Blue Mile is a Healthiest State Initiative endorsed event. The Healthiest State Initiative endorses events whose primary purpose is to contribute to Iowa’s well-being. “The Healthiest State Initiative is proud to endorse the Grand Blue Mile,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State executive director. “Whether you walk, jog, or run the mile, all that matters is you are adding a little more movement in a way that fits easily into your lifestyle.” Returning to the Grand Blue Mile is defending men’s invitational champion and two-time World Championship medalist Matthew Centrowitz. He will be joined by the 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano. Heather Kampf will also be defending her women’s invitational championship title. The three-time USA 1 Mile Road Champion will return to Des Moines for her sixth-consecutive appearance at the Grand Blue Mile. The Minnesota native and crowd favorite will attempt to beat her own course record of 4:32:62, set in 2014.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 invitational championship divisions. Also back by popular demand is the Mascot Madness Charity Challenge. Mascot Madness will pit area mascots against each other in a friendly competition as they run the backstretch of the Grand Blue Mile race course. Divided into two categories — the fast and the furriest — the winning mascots will be awarded a $1,000 prize each for their school/organization’s charitable foundation. Register todayEarly bird registration fees are $10 for youth (ages 17 and under) and $15 for adults until March 13. On March 14, registration increases to $15 for youth and $25 for adults. As part of Wellmark’s commitment to improving the health of Iowans, event proceeds benefit Iowa Kidstrong school fitness programs and the Drake Relays. Visit to register for the race, view the course map, find training tips, and get spectator information. ### About the Grand Blue MileThe Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in partnership with Nationwide and 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 WellmarkWellmark, 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. Print Friendly Versionlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *