Heather Kampf Repeats As Grand Blue Mile Women’s Champion; Chad Noelle Men’s Race
April 26, 2016
DES MOINES, Iowa – Heather Kampf successfully defended her Grand Blue Mile title on Tuesday evening, winning the women’s 1-mile invitational race in 4:37.52. Chad Noelle, competing in his first race as a professional, took the men’s title in 4:12.11.
“Any time you’re successful somewhere, when you come back and try it again, it breeds confidence,” Kampf said. “It was great to come back and have a good race. Knowing the course is great, it’s logical, I like the course and it’s easy to understand how to race it.”
Kampf held off Nicole Sifuentes, who finished second in 4:37.95, while Nikki Hamblin was third in 4:38.78.
Noelle narrowly edged the talented men’s field as Frezer Legesse finished just one one-hundreth of a second off the winning pace while Riley Masters was third in 4:12.34.
“This was a good way to start my career as a pro and I’ll be back to race on the Blue Oval in the 800 meters,” Noelle said. “It’s a surprise to myself, it feels really good. All of those guys are studs.”
The 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 presented by Hy-Vee, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change.
The Grand Blue Mile marks the competitive start of the 2016 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. More than 3,500 runners took part in the 7th annual race in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway.
Drake Relays competition continues on Wednesday with the start of the decathlon and heptathlon inside Drake Stadium. At 6 p.m., 10 of the top pole vaulters in the world are set to compete in the first Capital Square Vault, an elite pole vaulting competition held inside the Capital Square building in downtown Des Moines.
2016 Grand Blue Mile
Men’s Invitational Results
1. Chad Noelle, 4:12.11
2. Frezer Legesse, 4:12.13
3. Riley Masters, 4:12.34
4. Nate Brannen, 4:13.23
5. Robby Nierman, 4:13.58
6. Drew Windle, 4:14.35
Women’s Invitational Results
1. Heather Kampf, 4:37.52
2. Nicole Sifuentes, 4:37.95
3. Nikki Hamblin, 4:38.78
4. Rachel Schneider, 4:40.03
5. Amanda Eccleston, 4:44.41
6. Katy Moen, 4:50.04
7. Stephanie Jenks, 5:15.16