On Tuesday, April 22, for the second year in a row, Heather Kampf battled right to the end of the USA 1-Mile Road Championships. This time, however, she came out on top, finishing in 4:34.62 and setting a new course record.
Katie Mackey, her dueling partner down the stretch, took second in 4:35.30. Just behind them on the streets of Des Moines, IA, where more than 4,000 runners took advantage of the evening’s beautiful conditions and competed in a series of six events, was Sara Hall, who crossed in 4:35.81.
Kampf last won the USA 1-Mile Road Championships in 2012, when the race was held in Minneapolis, MN, her hometown. Last year, she finished third, just behind runner-up Hall and winner Kate Grace.
“I was really excited how the race turned out,” Kampf said afterward, according to KCCI News. “It was a tight battle between Katie and me coming down the stretch, and I really didn’t know who else was coming. Similar to last year, this was a replay of Sara [Hall] and me battling down the whole second half of the race, so I was really worried about those late closers, but I knew I just had to give it my all and see what I could do with the finish.”
Men’s winner Leo Manzano also faced a strong challenge in the race’s final stages. The 2012 Olympic 1500-meter silver medalist surged toward the finish line with 400 meters to go, and it was just enough to break the tape in 4:05.71—one-tenth of a second ahead of runner-up Pat Casey. Defending champion Garrett Heath took third with 4:06.39.
Upon finishing the race and earning the top prize of $5,000—the same amount awarded to Kampf—Manzano thanked director Brian Brown and the host city.
“It feels great,” Manzano said. “First of all, I’m so grateful to the community of Des Moines, and to Brian Brown—I’d like to thank him for this opportunity. One of the biggest things is now I can really focus on what matters and, once again, I’m just so grateful for all the people that supported me when I was down. Winning this race is such a weight off my shoulders.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg