Defending Champ Ben Blankenship, Top U.S. Miler Amanda Eccleston Headline GNC Live Well Liberty Mile
Friday, July 20 night time Mile race in The City of Champions offers a $30,000 prize purse; third stop on the BBTM Grand Prix Tour 2018
PITTSBURGH – Defending champion Ben Blankenship and top U.S. Miler Amanda Eccleston headline a deep field of professional runners at this year’s GNC Live Well Liberty Mile, scheduled for Friday, July 20. The evening downtown road race will offer a prize purse of $30,000, one of the largest for U.S. road Mile races.
Winning back-to-back GNC Live Well Liberty Mile titles, Blankenship, 29, returns to the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile aiming for the triple crown. Last year, the 2016 Rio Olympian won the race in 4 minutes, 5 seconds, beating out a field of top American runners. He will compete against several sub-4 minute Milers this year, including fellow Minnesota native Will Leer (3:51.82 Mile personal record), Patrick Casey (3:52.62 PR) and Ford Palmer (3:53.3 PR).
“I can't wait to return to the Liberty Mile,” Blankenship said. “From the course to the crowd, the event management team and sponsors to my competitors, it is always one of the highlights of my racing season. The city of Pittsburgh is a great place to run."
Eccleston, 28, who finished 4th at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials 1500 meters, tops this year’s women’s field. At the 7th edition, she will face tough competition from fellow Michigan native Shannon Osika (4:25.1 Mile PR), Sarah Brown (4:26.67 PR) and Stephanie Brown (4:29.06 PR).
“The GNC Live Well Liberty Mile is a fantastic event, and I’m so excited to have another chance to race it this summer,” Eccleston said. “It will be fun to see how I stack up against some of the country’s best Milers on the road.”
The American Development Pro Mile offers $25,000 in guaranteed prize money – going seven deep per gender – with each race champion awarded $5000. The GNC Live Well Liberty Mile is also the third stop on the Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour 2018.
The USATF-certified, u-shaped course takes participants on Penn and Liberty Avenues in downtown Pittsburgh. For more event information or to register, visit: LibertyMile.org