his is the first of two features by Oliver Hinson on the Millrose Games 2024. This feature is on the Men’s races. Millrose Games was held on February 11, 2024.
Here’s everything you missed from the Millrose Games: The Men, by Oliver Hinson for RunBlogRun
Millrose Games Armory Track&Field Center, New York, NY (USA), 11 February 2024, by World Athletics Results Services
Clarity wins in journalism, so I’ll summarize today’s action in one word: fireworks. Naturally, things can get pretty raucous when you put hundreds of the world’s best athletes in the same small building with 5,000 die-hard fans.
The 2024 edition may have been one of the loudest and busiest, though. Two world records fell, as well as several national and facility records. If you didn’t make the trip to New York, here’s what you missed from the day’s track action.
Men’s 60m hurdles
This event was believed to be a battle between Daniel Roberts and Trey Cunningham. Cunningham beat Roberts at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix last week by less than a hundredth of a second, and without three-time world champion Grant Holloway on the line, he had the highest world ranking heading into this race.
But then, Dylan Beard showed up with a massive personal best, winning this race in 7.44. He was neck-and-neck with Roberts and Cunningham through the fifth and final hurdle, but his lean across the line proved decisive. Beard has had an impressive winter after only managing 7.70 in the event in 2023.
Roberts nabbed second in 7.51, and Cunningham was third in 7.52, barely beating out fellow American Cordell Tinch, who also ran 7.52 to get fourth.
Men’s 60m dash
This event does not have a sponsored name, which is a sign that we should name this event after Christian Coleman. For the third year in a row, the former 100m world champion dominated this event at the Armory, running 6.51 for the win – pretty far off his world record mark of 6.34, but still enough to beat a Noah Lyles-less field.
Coleman has typically enjoyed success at this meet due to his exceptional start. However, Japan’s Hakim Sani Brown, who ended up in second place, had a slight edge on Coleman through 20 meters. Coleman’s latter half was impressive – he ran the last 30 meters in 2.6 seconds, while Brown ran 2.65. In a 60-meter dash, .05 seconds can mean everything, and it did today.
If Coleman can improve his top speed, he could seriously threaten Lyles during the outdoor season. For now, one thing is clear: Coleman owns the 60.
Men’s 800-meter run
The 800 event shows how worthwhile attending a meet like this in person is. No matter how they shoot it, a broadcast crew can’t possibly capture the spectacle that is an indoor 800, especially at the Armory.
For one thing, it’s physical. Last year, Bryce Hoppel, one of the faces of this event in American track, ran a disappointing 1:54.43 at Millrose, and it wasn’t for lack of fitness. Hoppel got bumped by Noah Kibet, who wound up winning that race, and he simply lost all momentum.
This year, he nearly suffered a repeat. He sat comfortably behind Luis Peralta for the first 400 and then made a forceful move to take the lead on the third lap. Heading into the last 200, Kibet tried to make a pass, again bumping Hoppel. This time, though, Hoppel wasn’t phased. He ran the last 200 in 27.68 and cruised to the win in 1:45.54.
“Going into the race, I knew it was a race to win,” Hoppel said. “I knew I had the strength to win. That’s why I was sitting back very comfortably. I was relying on a lot of that strength work.”
Hoppel said he was “a little [alarmed]” when Kibet bumped him again, but he “wasn’t going to let anything bother [him].”
Kibet took second in 1:46.09, and Mark English was third in 1:46.61. Luis Peralta set a Dominican national record with a 1:46.74 mark, finishing in fifth.
Men’s Wanamaker Mile
It feels somewhat weird not to save this event for last, but I’m going to be honest: we all could have predicted this would happen. Yared Nuguse defended his crown with a 3:47.83 mark, which should be blowing everyone away – it truly is ridiculous – but the track world framed this race as a runaway time trial, so how are fans supposed to react when he doesn’t beat his 3:47.38 from last year?
Don’t get me wrong, the fans went wild, but it seemed like there was nothing new to take away from this race.
The first quarter was blistering; Nuguse came through in 55.90, putting him well under world record pace. Hobbs Kessler stayed on Nuguse’s hip, and George Mills followed. By the half-mile mark, it was a three-man race.
That’s where things slowed, though. Nuguse clocked a 59-second third quarter, nearly allowing the pack to reattach, and suddenly, the “projected pace” on the electronic board flickered between 3:51 and 3:52.
With a lap to go, Kessler was still in contention, but Nuguse’s kick proved lethal once again – was there ever any doubt?
Well, maybe a little bit.
“I was a little bit nervous [before the race],” Nuguse said. “I looked to frame my nerves as excitement, so I kept saying I was just excited, but I think expecting of, ‘You should go get the world record!’ is a little bit of pressure.”
Still, Nuguse said he was a lot less nervous than he was for last year’s race, which was his first professional mile. He said that being “the one to watch” made the race different – instead of looking for the right time to kick, he was responsible for pushing from the front.
Kessler, meanwhile, ran 3:48.66, a massive personal best and his first time under 3:50. The 20-year-old, who turned professional out of high school, attributed his progress to what he called “boring” training.
“I’ve just been consistent for the last year and a half,” Kessler said. “It’s nothing special… nothing even that hard… just consistent, not missing any training ever.”
George Mills finished third in 3:48.93, just .06 seconds off the British record. Just behind him was Adam Fogg, who had to “earn” his spot in this race. Two weeks ago, Fogg raced the mile at the Dr. Sander Invitational, and the race was set up so that the winner earned an automatic entry into the Wanamaker Mile.
Fogg won that race in 3:53.55 and made the most of his subsequent opportunity, dipping under 3:50 with a 3:49.62.
So, I can’t exactly say this wasn’t an exciting race. Last year, only Nuguse and Neil Gourley ran under 3:50, and we got double the sub-3:50 marks this year. Still, it hurts knowing the world record was within reach.
Men’s 2 Mile
This. This was the piece de resistance. Reigning 1500m world champion Josh Kerr gave the media a great soundbite heading into this race, calling his shot for the indoor world record two months in advance. Even better, he had a loaded field to accompany him, led by American 5k and 10k record holder Grant Fisher, 2021 Olympian Cole Hocker, and On Athletics Club members Joe Klecker, Morgan McDonald, and George Beamish.
Kerr took his shot and got his world record, running 8:00.67 to beat the previous mark by nearly three seconds. By the 1000m mark, he and Fisher had separated themselves from the pack and continued that way for the rest of the race. Most people suspected Fisher’s only way to win was to press hard from the front, and it seemed like he was trying to do just that. Still, with two laps left to go, Kerr was on his hip, unleashing a kick that only the best miler in the world could.
“That was so hard,” Kerr said. “I think Grant was always going to be so much stronger than I am, and I was hopefully going to have more legs in the last 600… I wanted to go early, but I just couldn’t. Running two four-minute miles back to back is much harder than people think.”
Perhaps more impressive than the mark itself was the fact that he split 4:03-3:57. If he wanted to target Jakob Ingebrigsten’s 7:54 mark outdoors, he would probably have a fair shot – however, he said he was likely done with the 2-mile for the time being.
Fisher ran 8:03.62, good for his third American record. Third went to Cole Hocker, who ran 8:05.70. Hocker ran most of the race split between the lead and chase packs, but he had to hold off a charging Beamish in the last stretch. Beamish set a New Zealand record, while Morgan McDonald set an Australian record. The fifth and final national record went to Keita Satoh of Japan, who ran 8:14.71.
We may only be in February, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this 2 mile will remain in contention for “race of the year” for the foreseeable future.
-Pole Vault: Nike’s Chris Nilsen won the men’s pole vault with a mark of 5.82 meters, or 19 feet and 1 inch. Puma’s KC Lightfoot also cleared 19-1, but Nilsen won on misses.
-Boys mile: Riley Smith, a senior from Florida, won the high school boys mile with a meet record time of 4:05.05. Junior TJ Hansen was ahead with 209 meters left to go, but Smith threw down a 30.58 in the last lap and changed to take the win.
-Boys 4x200m relay: This was a heavyweight duel between the best sprint schools in the East: Carroll (DC) and Bullis (MD). The latter was the favorite to win this race, primarily because of national sensation Quincy Wilson. However, Carroll took the win in 1:26.34. Wilson had a faster leg than Carroll’s Damill Bostic, but it wasn’t enough; Bullis finished in 1:26.65.