Beads of sweat runs down George Mills’ face, slowly burning his eyes as his vision blurs. The clock reads 12:30.50 as he passes the bell for the final time. He feels his spikes drive into the sponge-like track as every inch of his body tenses to cross the line. He looks up, the clock reads 12:58.68, Olympic qualifier time secured.
Last weekend, Mills qualified for the Olympics in the 5000m, this weekend he lines up against fellow On Athletic Club [OAC] athlete and reigning champion, Yared Nuguse in the Men’s Wanamaker Mile at The 116th Millrose Games. While Mills clocked 12:58.68, he managed to gap Nuguse by almost 3-seconds in the final lap.
Including Mills and Nuguse, fellow OAC athlete Mario Garcia Romo looks like a promising candidate in the Wanamaker Mile, after finish top-eight in both outdoor World Championships in Budapest 2023 and Eugene Oregon 2022.
This weekend, all eyes will be on the OAC as they head into one of the most hotly contested indoor events of the year. Both European and American divisions of the OAC send stunning line-ups to the 116th Millrose Games.
This is a special event for the OAC as the 2022 edition was the birth of their world-renowned On Cloudspike. Recalling the night before the race, Kiwi-athlete Geordie Beamish remembers the shoe technician was in the hotel bathroom filling down a prototype pair of the spikes. With that same pair of shoes, he went on to win the 3000m clocking a New Zealand National record of 7:39.50.
This year, Beamish will line up against British 1500m World Champion Josh Kerr in the 2 mile. It is no secret that Kerr is looking to break Mo Farah’s World Record of 8:03.40. It will be interesting to see whether Beamish and his fellow competitors will attempt to hang with the champion.
OAC athlete Alicia Monson has proven to be a dominant force across most long-distance events. Last summer, she secured herself a fifth-place finish in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Budapest.
Millrose for Monson will be interesting this year, after winning the Women’s 3000m back-to-back in 2022 and 2023, she will now be racing the 2 mile against Olympic Silver Medallist Laura Muir. Only 219metres longer than the 3000, it will be interesting to see whether speed or endurance triumphs over this distance.
What a better way to kickstart Superbowl Sunday than watching the Millrose Games? Track fans can stream the Millrose Games 2024 on the World Athletics website for free.