Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Fields Are Set for Medtronic TC Mile

Nick Willis makes the decisive move during last year's Medtronic TC Mile.
Photo by Gene Niemi

The men’s and women’s professional fields are now set for Thursday's Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile, which helps celebrate today’s 60th anniversary celebration of Roger Bannister’s first-ever sub-four-minute mile in 1954.  22 men and 13 women will race in the event’s pro athlete waves which finish an evening of racing where more than 3,000 runners will compete over one of the sport’s signature distances.

Three-time Medtronic TC 1 Mile champion David Torrence will return to Minneapolis for the 10th annual event. Torrence was the first runner to break four minutes on the Nicollet Mall course. He won the first of three Medtronic TC 1 Mile crowns in 2009, when the prize money and course record bonus he earned helped to keep his fledgling running career going. He defended his title the following year and, in 2011, bettered his own course record en route to an unprecedented third straight victory.

Torrence’s return makes good on a pledge he made via Twitter immediately after Nick Willis won last year’s race in a record-breaking 3:56.1. At the time, Torrence tweeted: “Congrats to @nickwillis for breaking my course record at the #tc1mile! Of course, now I must formally declare I will be taking it back!” when Torrence arrived in the Twin Cities he tweeted: "Just landed in Minneapolis. Smells like revenge."

Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist at 1500-meters for New Zealand, isn't the only race champion he'll have to contend with.  He'll also face 2012 champion Craig Miller, 2014 world mile leader Will Leer, a Minnetonka High School alumnus; former Stillwater High School and University of Minnesota star Ben Blankenship, who won the Minnesota Mile last September: and two-time Canadian Olympian Nate Brannen.

The Medtronic TC 1 Mile women’s field will include two former champions and last year’s narrow runner-up. 2011 champion Sara Hall returns to see if she can better her 4:30.8 course record. Joining her are 2012 winner Heather Kampf,  a former Rosemount High School and University of Minnesota star who recently won the 2014 USA 1 Mile Road championship in Des Moines; 2013 Medtronic TC 1 Mile runner-up Nicole Sifuentes, a Canadian Olympian in 2012 and 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championship bronze medallist; reigning USA Indoor 3000-meter champ Gabriele Grunewald, and 2013 USA 3000-meter steeplechase champion Nicole Bush.

A men’s and women’s combined prize purse of $25,000 awaits the professional fields at this year’s race. Race winners who better the existing course records will earn a $10,000 bonus in addition to the winner’s prize of $5,000.

The Medtronic TC 1 Mile is the second stop on the 2014 Bring Back the Mile Tour, a nationwide Grand Prix with more than $90,000 in total prize money and a $7500 grand prize purse. The Medtronic TC 1 Mile, organized by Twin Cities In Motion, features an evening of races for runners of all ages and abilities. Races begin at 6:52 p.m. and culminates with the professional races at 7:52 p.m. (women) and 8:04 p.m. (men). Start times subject to slight change.

Follow Twin Cities In Motion’s Twitter feed (@tcmarathon) and the event hashtag (#TC1Mile) for the latest information about the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, including comprehensive “tweetcast” coverage of the event on Thursday evening. If you want to take part in the Bring Back the Mile pick the winner contest click HERE.

Women’s Professional Start List
7:52 p.m.

Bib #             Name                                           Personal Best
41                  Nicole Sifuentes                           4:29.33
42                  Heather Kampf                             4:27.8              
43                  Gabriele Grunewald                      4:27.94
44                  Sara Hall                                      4:23.9  
45                  Amanda Eccleston                       4:38.1              
46                  Nicole Bush                                 4:36.27
47                  Rebecca Addison                         4:42.99
48                  Laura Thweatt                               4:35.32
49                  Kristen Findley                             4:45.19            
52                  Meghan Peyton                            4:40.5  
53                  Rochelle Kanuho                          5:03.15*           
54                  Melissa Agnew                             4:46.77
55                  Hannah Wanjiru                            4:47.8

Men’s Professional Start List
8:04 p.m.

Bib #             Name                                           Personal Best
1          Nick Willis                                             3:50.66
2          Will Leer                                                3:52.47
3          Nate Brannen                                        3:55.9  
4          Jack Bolas                                            3:54.00
5          Ben Blankenship                                   3:52.7  
6          Craig Miller                                            3:53.1  
7          Jeff See                                               3:52.9              
8          Rob Finnerty                                         3:59.42
9          Duncan Phillips                                     3:56.27            
11         Chris Gowell                                          3:57.29
12         Tony Jordanek                                      3:58.80            
14         Jacob Edwards                                     3:58.09
15         Scott Smith                                           4:01.93
16         Dey Dey                                               3:59.96
17         Diriba Yigezu Degefa                            3:54.0
19         Travis Burkstrand                                  4:00.15
21         Joshua McAlary                                    4:00.49            
22         Jon Peterson                                        4:02.00
23         Rob Mullett                                           4:02.18
24         Eric Finan                                             4:04.94            
25         Travis Fitzke                                          4:08.91
30         David Torrence                                      3:52.01

* Denotes converted 1500-meter performance 

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