Mile News

The Best Mile Moments of 2023

December 29, 2023

Record event prize money awarded; record four U.S. high schoolers sub-4 in same race; Nuguse blasts U.S. indoor & outdoor Mile records; Kipyegon shatters women’s outdoor Mile record, Hiltz U.S. record; official road Mile world records recognized, inaugural road Mile World Championship and more!

By Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile

In 2023, the Mile, by numerous metrics, arguably had its greatest and most historic year to-date in the U.S. and worldwide. Put simply, it was a record year for the Mile as the following facts and chronological highlights attest and celebrate.

► Event prize money notably increased from $540,000 in 2022 to a record $735,100 this year or by 36%! The inaugural World Road Running Mile Championships added an event record $150,000, including $100,000 for two world records, to that new payout high; previous record was $678,020 in 2018.
► Across the country and the world, the vast majority of Mile events reported record participation numbers. In the U.S., 11 races had more than 1,000 finishers, the second highest total (2016 had 12).
► In 2023, an annual record 69 U.S. men booked their first sub-4 minute Mile on the track (previous record, 64 in 2022), and for the 18th consecutive year, the first sub-4 U.S. annual number again reached double digits with an average of 31 first-timers, representing 51% of the 732 overall total since BBTM’s 2012 launch compared to only 7 per year from 1957-2011.
► In addition, annual first sub-4 records of 60 U.S. men indoors and 52 U.S. collegians (previous records, 49 & 49 in 2022) plus 3 U.S. high schoolers joined the sub-4 club, respectively.
► In 2023, an annual record 11 U.S. women, including the milestone 100th overall, clocked their first sub-4:30 track Mile (previous record, 10 in 2016), and since 2012, first-time U.S. women to this select club have averaged ~6 per year compared to only 1 per year from 1975-2011, or put another way, 65% of the overall total (69 women out of 106) achieved the landmark since 2012 (The BBTM Effect)! NOTE: like in other running events, super shoes, in recent years, are a factor in the rise of first sub-4 and sub-4:30 performances.
► For the year, Eric Holt (USA) and Sam Tanner (NZL) recorded the most track sub-4s with 5 each, and for women, Nikki Hiltz (USA) the most sub-4:30s with 4.

Hiltz hits fastest high Mile – January 20
At the Lumberjack Team Challenge in Flagstaff, AZ, Nikki Hiltz won the Mile in 4:32.23 on the 300 meter oversized indoor track, recording the fastest known women’s absolute Mile at altitude (6,900 feet). Previous fastest time was 4:32.72 outdoors by Emma Coburn in Grand Junction, CO (4,583 feet) on 06/27/20; the previous indoor time was 4:34.14 by Shannon Rowbury in Albuquerque, NM (4,959 feet) on 01/16/10. Hiltz’s time equates to 4:22.34 sea level conversion.

Mile Madness in Boston & Seattle – January 27
At the John Thomas Terrier Classic on Boston University’s ultra-fast indoor track, in two heats, 15 men went sub-4 minutes, including Luis Grijalva, who blazed a 3:53.53 for the win, also becoming the first sub-4 Guatemalan, and in addition, Dage Minors joined the Sub-4 Club as the first Bermudian, clocking 3:59.35.

While later in the day at the Washington Indoor Invitational in Seattle, Joe Waskom set a facility record of 3:51.90 (#3 NCAA indoor all-time) on the 300 meter oversized indoor track, leading 7 other Washington Huskies under 4 minutes, a collegiate record for same team, same day sub-4; previous team record was 5 men by Virginia Tech in 2021.

Joe Waskom, 3:51.90, Brian Fay, 3:52.03 (#5 NCAA indoor all-time, tie), Nathan Green (#7 NCAA indoor all-time), 3:52.76, Kieran Lumb, 3:53.83, Sam Ellis (running unattached), 3:53.84, Luke Houser, 3:55.98, Aaron Ahl, 3:57.94 and Aidan Ryan, 3:59.55

On the day, 31 men went sub-4, the third most ever on one day.

Tuohy sets absolute NCAA Mile record – January 28
North Carolina State’s Katelyn Tuohy, at the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge in New York City, shattered the absolute NCAA Mile record, clocking 4:24.26; previous record, 4:25.91, Jenny Barringer (Colorado), 2009, both indoors. En route Tuohy also claimed the collegiate 1500m record (4:06.49). Alicia Monson won the race in 4:23.55 (#8 U.S. all-time indoors) with Whittni Morgan second (4:23.97, #10 U.S. AT indoors). Monson and Tuohy also recorded their first sub-4:30 Mile times (#96 and #97 U.S.).

Drew Hunter won the men’s Mile in 3:55.57, running an indoor personal record.

Hot Mile races in cold Boston – February 4
On her training track in a thrilling finish, Heather MacLean won the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Mile, clocking a personal record of 4:23.42 (#8 U.S. all-time indoors) and edging Canadian Lucia Stafford (4:23.52) at the line. MacLean also set the Massachusetts women’s indoor and absolute record (previous mark, 4:24.11, also indoors, Mary Cain, 2014). Overall, a tying indoor record 9 women went sub-4:30 including Emily Mackay, 4:26.09 in fourth, who became the milestone 100th American woman sub-4:30.

The men also had an exciting down to the wire race as Neil Gourley (GBR) out-leaned Sam Tanner (NZL), 3:52.84 to 3:52.85, leading 5 other men sub-4.

In the Junior International Mile, North Carolina senior Rocky Hansen recorded the fastest high school-only indoor mark ever with his winning 4:01.11 (previous fastest HS-only, 4:02.34, Gary Martin, 2022).

Tsegay triumphs with #2 woman indoor Mile all-time – February 8
At the ORLEN Copernicus Cup in Toruń, Poland, Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay blazed a 4:16.16, producing the second fastest women’s indoor Mile ever; countrywoman Genzebe Dibaba holds the world record of 4:13.31 from 2016.

The Goose shatters U.S. indoor Mile record – February 11
At the 115th Millrose Games, Yared Nuguse won the Rudin Wanamaker Mile, setting an American indoor record of 3:47.38 (#2 all-time indoors) and shattering Bernard Lagat's 3:49.89 on the same day in 2005; also, the Goose is #2 American all-time, only Alan Webb is faster (3:46.91) and en route split 3:33.22 for the 1500 meters to set the U.S. indoor record. Third place finisher Olli Hoare tied an Australian indoor record in 3:50.83 and OAC teammate Mario Garcia Romo, who finished 5th, set a Spanish indoor record (3:51.79). Overall, an indoor record-tying 11 men went sub-4.

Laura Muir of Great Britain won the women’s race in 4:20.15, waging a final two lap battle with American Josette Andrews, runner-up in 4:20.88. Sintayehu Vissa, who finished 6th, set an Italian indoor record. Overall, an indoor record-tying 9 women ran sub-4:30.

Record blitz 52 men sub-4 at Boston University – February 11
In 7 heats, a same meet, same day record of 52 men ran sub-4 minutes for the Mile, led by Amos Bartelsmeyer of Germany in 3:50.45, and overall, on the same day, a record 69 men went sub-4.

Aussie Cameron Myers, 16, runs record sub-3:56 Down Under – February 23
At the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne, Cameron Myers, 16, impressively finished third in the John Landy Mile, clocking a swift 3:55.44, a world record for the age (previous record, 3:56.29, Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, 2017). The Australian teen talent, at 16 years, 259 days, is the second youngest to run sub-4 (Ingebrigtsen is the youngest, 16 years, 250 days). Olli Hoare won the race in 3:52.24.

HSer Burns runs indoor sub-4 – February 26
At the BU Last Chance Indoor Qualifier meet in Boston, Missouri high school senior Connor Burns added an indoor sub-4 Mile to his 2022 outdoor sub-4, running 3:59.11, #4 U.S. HSer indoors all-time (5th overall), to finish 8th in heat 3. Overall, 34 men, led by Kiwi Geordie Beamish’s 3:51.22, went sub-4, the second most at the same meet, same day.

Hiltz, Prakel win 2nd USA road Mile titles at GBM – April 25
In Des Moines, at the Grand Blue Mile, Nikki Hiltz and Sam Prakel kicked to victory at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships in 4:28 (4:27.97) and 4:02 (4:01.21), respectively, to win their second crowns and $5000. Hiltz also set event and USA Championship records, earning a $2500 event record bonus. In addition, their marks 4:01.21 and 4:27.97 were later ratified by World Athletics as the first official road Mile world records for men and women, respectively.

HSer Hansen #18 U.S. prep sub-4 – April 30
At the Virginia High Performance meet in Charlottesville, Rocky Hansen became the 18th U.S. high schooler to record a sub-4 minute Mile (and the 13th U.S. HSer sub-4 since our 2012 movement launch), and the Christ School (North Carolina) senior also won the Open race, clocking 3:59.56!

Record 4 HSers sub-4 same race – June 1
The much anticipated and hyped match-up of top U.S. prep boy Milers did not disappoint at the HOKA Festival of Miles in St. Louis. Expert pacer Erik Sowinski led the field thru 1100 meters before the real racing took place, and Simeon Birnbaum, from South Dakota, total control of the race, running the last lap in 57.68 for the win in a personal record 3:57.53, #4 U.S. prep all-time. Rocky Hansen followed closely in 3:58.23 (each had run sub-4 before). Joining the duo in the U.S. high school Sub-4 Club, #19 and #20 (15 since the BBTM 2012 launch) were Tinoda Matsatsa, third in 3:58.70, and Jackson Heidesch fourth in 3:59.08. The greatest high school Mile race produced the most HS sub-4s in the same race ever. #AGT

The Open races were won by Abby Nichols and Olin Hacker in PR times of 4:26.08, meet & state record, and 3:56.59, respectively, while Illinois high school senior Tatum David finished 7th, running 4:37.79.

Kipyegon’s historic sub-3:50 – June 2
Not the Mile, but this performance warrants recognition because two-time Olympic and World champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya become the first woman to run the 1500 meters under 3:50, breaking the beam in 3:49.11 at the Florence Diamond League meet.

Double the record run for Ingebrigtsen – June 9
At the Paris Diamond League meet, Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway shattered the 2 Mile world record (best) by 4-plus seconds, clocking 7:54.10 (previous record, 7:58.61, Daniel Komen (KEN), 1997). The Olympic champion produced an impressive negative split: 4:00.3 (first Mile) vs. 3:53.8 (second Mile).

Hedengren & David #4 & #5 HS-only girls Mile – June 14
In Seattle at the Brooks PR Invitational meet, sophomore Jane Hedengren (Utah) edged senior Tatum David (Illinois) in a thrilling battle in the Mile, 4:35.69 to 4:35.87, #4 and #5 all-time in a HS-only race (#7 and #8 overall). In arguably the greatest girls high school Mile ever, sophomore Bethany Michalak (Colorado) and senior Karrie Baloga (New York) also went sub-4:38 (4:37.39 and 4:37.52, respectively).

Senior Jackson Heidesch from Iowa won the boys Mile in 4:04.20.

Dream Mile magic in Oslo – June 15
The women’s Bislett Games Dream Mile was indeed a dream, producing one of the deepest, fastest races of all-time. Ethiopian teen Birke Haylom, 17, impressively won the race in 4:17.13, setting a World Junior record (previous record, 4:17.57, Zola Budd (GBR), 1985) and meet record (previous record, 4:17.25, Sonia O’Sullivan (IRL), 1994) as well as also running the fastest women’s Mile in June. Runner-up Cory McGee in 4:18.11 became #4 U.S. woman all-time (#3 outdoors), Jessica Hull set an Aussie record (4:18.24) and Nikki Hiltz’s fourth place 4:18.38 = #5 U.S. woman all-time (#4 outdoors). Overall, 6 women went sub-4:20, and all 14 finishers ran either a personal record or seasonal best!

In the final meet event, the men’s 1500m, Jakob Ingebrigtsen brought the home crowd to its feet with his scintillating 3:27.95, setting Norwegian and European records. American and rising star Yared Nuguse placed third in 3:29.02, a personal record by 4 seconds. A record 8 men went sub-3:30 in the same race.

The greatest Mile race ever? – July 21
At the Herculis Monaco Diamond League meet, Faith Kipyegon obliterated the women’s Mile world record by 4-plus seconds, breaking the beam in an otherworldly 4:07.64 (previous record, 4:12.33, Sifan Hassan (NED), 2019). The two-time Olympic and World champion became the first Kenyan to set the Mile world record. In June, Kipyegon also set the 1500m and 5000m world records, 3:49.11 (first woman sub-3:50) and 14:05.20, respectively.

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean finished second, nearly 7 seconds back, setting a national record (4:14.58). Overall, 7 national records were set, including the U.S. record by Nikki Hiltz, who ran 4:16.35, good for 6th, to break Mary Slaney’s nearly 38-year-old standard; American Elise Cranny, 8th in 4:16:47, was also under Slaney's old mark. In addition, all 13 finishers clocked personal records and the top 8 went sub-4:17, producing best time for 1-8 place in women’s Mile history. What an epic race!

Kerr, Reekie Rule 5th Avenue Mile – September 10
Under wet, rainy conditions, in commanding performances, reigning World champion and Tokyo Olympic medalist Josh Kerr and Olympian Jemma Reekie won the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in 3:47.9 and 4:19.4, respectively. Kerr’s time was the third fastest time in event history and fastest since 1995, while Reekie also won in 2021.

In addition, for the third consecutive year, it was a Scottish sweep, and overall, 18 men sub-4 and 13 women sub-4:30.

Ingebrigtsen nips Nuguse in record-setting Bowerman Mile – September 16
At the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League final, in a thrilling down-to-the-wire Bowerman Mile, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen held off American rising star Yared Nuguse, 3:43.73 to 3:43.97, producing #3 and #4 all-time performances and U.S. All-Comers and American records, respectively.

Overall, a record 11 men went sub-3:50 (previous record 6, several races) and 11 personal records and 5 national records were set (Norway, USA, Spain, France and The Netherlands).

Welteji, Kessler inaugural World road Mile champions, shattering WRs – October 1
Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji and USA’s Hobbs Kessler crushed the world records to win two thrilling road Mile races at the inaugural World Road Running Championships Riga 23, clocking 4:20.98 and 3:56.13, respectively, in the Latvian capital. The event paid out a record $150,000 and the world champions took home $60,000 each ($10,000 for the win and $50,000 world record bonus), the largest road Mile individual payout. American Sam Prakel, former road Mile world record holder, earned the bronze medal (3:56.43).

Nuguse, Hiltz Kalakaua Merrie Mile champions – December 9
At the 7th Kalakaua Merrie Mile, part of the Honolulu Marathon, Yared Nuguse and Nikki Hiltz closed out their 2023 racing seasons with wins, 3:56.58 and 4:28.07, respectively. In the handicap competition (pro women received a 30 second head start), Nuguse, in his first road race, had the best finishing kick, stopping the clock just off of the world record by Hobbs Kessler (see above), who finished third (3:57.12).

SAVE THE DATE: On September 26-28, 2025, San Diego will host the second World Road Running Championships which include the road Mile.

CREDIT: Monaco DL, Drake Relays, Sona Maleter and PhotoRun

Tags: yared nuguse (15) , world record (77) , sam prakel (35) , ryan lamppa (110) , rocky hansen (2) , nikki hiltz (48) , josh kerr (19) , jakob ingebrigtsen (30) , hobbs kessler (18) , faith kipyegon (17) , best mile moments (15) , bbtm effect (7)

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