Ciattei (in near US record) & McArthur Win USATF Road Mile Championships

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2024 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NOTE: This story was written remotely –Ed.












(23-Apr) — Vince Ciattei (Under Armour Dark Sky) and Rachel McArthur (Unattached) won the USATF Road Mile Championships in Des Moines hosted by the Grand Blue Mile.  In windy and cool conditions Ciattei clocked 3:56.97 –leading gun to tape– and came close to the world road mile record of 3:56.13 set by Hobbs Kessler last October.  McArthur broke away from her rivals in the final quarter to win in 4:32.20.  Both athletes won $5000 in prize money.





Ciattei –who finished third in this race last year and was the winner two years ago– left nothing to chance tonight.  He moved immediately to the front right after the gun, went through halfway in just under 1:58, and was the race’s only leader.  He got a credible challenge from John Reniewicki and Alec Basten in the final quarter, but the two Under Armour Baltimore Distance teammates couldn’t match Ciattei’s speed in the final sprint.  They finished second and third in 3:58.48 and 3:59.88, respectively.





“I’m sure in a day I’ll be happy that I won,” said Ciattei in his post-race broadcast interview as he reflected on coming close to the world record. “That hurts, though, man.  I’ve been on the wrong side of small margins so often in my career.  I thought today might be the day.”





Ciattei is coming off of a strong indoor season where he ran three progressively faster mile races in 3:55.94, 3:52.07 and 3:50.56.  He said that his training has been going well and that he had gained the confidence to take the lead early tonight.





“I ran, I think, eight seconds slower here last year,” Ciattei observed.  “So, big picture, still great progress.  Still really happy with my second U.S. title here.  You know, maybe the time will come another day.”





McArthur, who finished fourth in the NCAA Indoor Championships mile as a senior at the University of Colorado in 2022, was not the favorite to win tonight.  She stayed tucked in the pack during the first half and let others lead.  When marathoner Annie Frisbie (Puma/Minnesota Distance Elite) took the lead on the course’s final turn before the long finish straight, McArthur stayed close behind with Anna Camp Bennett (adidas), Alex Teubel (Unattached), and Micaela  Degenero (Puma).  With about 15 seconds left, McArthur took the lead and was able to hold it to the line.





“This is my first road race, first mile on the roads,” McArthur said in her post-race broadcast interview.  “The strategy was kind of out the window, to be honest.  I was running with a lot of really talented women, so I thought, ‘follow them.’  I was thinking, last 600 meters everyone gets excited because the finish is there, but it’s still 600 meters.  I tried to stay calm, but when I felt good I felt good.  I just went.”






Camp Bennett finished second in 4:33.67, Degenaro got third in 4:34.20, and Teubel captured fourth in 4:35.39.  Frisbie, the marathoner, hung on for eighth in 4:37.59.  Rachel Smith (Hoka), the reigning national 15-K champion, dropped out at halfway after leading and was visibly limping.





Three-time national road mile champion Emily Lipari (adidas) had hoped to win her fourth title tonight, but was a late scratch.  She still hopes to run the 1500m at the Drake Relays on Saturday.





“I tweaked my knee two days ago,” she told Race Results Weekly in a text message.  “It’s nothing major but needs a little more time.”

– – – – –

The  race was part of the USATF Running Circuit.  The next stop is the USATF 25-K Championships in Grand Rapids, Mich., on May 11.

VIDEO STILL: Rachel McArthur after winning the 2024 USATF Road Mile Championships at the Grand Blue Mile (video still via

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