Thousands gathered in the streets of downtown Des Moines Tuesday night to kick off the Drake Relays.
The Grand Blue Mile brought more than 4,000 runners of varying skill levels to compete in the one mile road race.
This is the first year the Grand Blue Mile will also serve as the USA Track and Field One-Mile Road Championship. There was money on the line for those professional runners, who took to the starting line at 7:15 p.m. This year’s race featured a top prize of $5,000 to the fastest man and the fastest woman.
Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano took part of the elite men’s championship, but he and everyone else, ended up watching the back of Garrett Heath.
Heath won with a time of 4 minutes 2 seconds setting a new course record, which netted him an extra $2,500 bonus.
It was a tighter race on the women’s side, Kate Grace crossed first with a time of 4 minutes 43 seconds, another course record with bonus cash.
Wednesday another popular Relays event will unfold at Jordan Creek Mall. The pole vault will be held at 6:15 p.m.
The athletes include both the 2012 men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists.
Authorities are urging people to get there early if you’d like to see the event.
This is the 5th year the competition has been held at the mall.