The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, and this year’s race on February 11 will include both Olympic medalist Clayton Murphy and defending champion in Shannon Rowbury. The race will be broadcast live nationally by NBC Sports Group.
With 10 days to go until the NYRR Millrose Games, here are 10 things to know about the NYRR Wanamaker Mile:
1. The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is named after department store founder Rodman Wanamaker. “Millrose” was the name of his Pennsylvania estate.
2. The first NYRR Wanamaker Mile was held in 1926 and won by James. J. Connolly. A women’s race was included for the first time in 1976 and was won by Jan Merrill.
3. In 1932, which marked the 25th anniversary of the Millrose Games, the University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Venzke won in a world indoor record time of 4:11.2, the first world indoor record set in the race’s history.
4. The first Wanamaker Mile under four minutes was run in 1974, when Tony Waldrop of the University of Carolina passed Marty Liquori on the last lap to win in 3:59.7.
5. Matthew Centrowitz (3:50:63, 2016) and Doina Melinte (4:21.45, 1988) hold the event records in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile. Centrowitz's time last year was not only the fastest mile in the world during the indoor season, but also faster than any time achieved outdoors. This is the only time in history where the fastest indoor mile was faster than the fastest outdoor mile.
6. Until 2011, the Wanamaker Mile took place over 11 laps on a steeply banked wooden track at Madison Square Garden. Since 2012, it has taken place over eight laps on a rubberized track at The Armory, a year-round partner of New York Road Runners.
7. Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan won the Wanamaker Mile seven times and was called the “Chairman of the Boards” because the old track at Madison Square Garden was made of wood.
8. Bernard Lagat has the most NYRR Wanamaker Mile titles on the men’s side with eight, and Mary Decker and Regina Jacobs are tied for the most wins on the women’s side with four each.
9. Before the men's NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the meet pauses and the national anthem is played to reset the mood before the meet's most historic race.
10. Villanova University has produced the most men’s Wanamaker Mile champions of any university, while the University of Colorado Boulder has produced the most women’s Wanamaker Mile champions of any university.
By Stuart Lieberman