The Millrose Games is an annual indoor athletics meet (track and field) held each February in New York City. They started taking place at the Armory in Washington Heights in 2012, after having taken place in Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011. The games were started when employees of the New York City branch of Wanamaker's department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile.
The Millrose Games began in 1908 at a local armory the same year when its parent, the Millrose Athletic Association, was formed as a recreational club by the employees of the John Wanamaker Department Store. "Millrose" was the name of the country home of Rodman Wanamaker in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania.
In 1914, after overflowing the armory the year before, the Millrose Games moved to Madison Square Garden, and until 2011 was the oldest continuous sporting event held there. For 10 years beginning in 1916, the Wanamaker 1 ½ Mile race was a highlight of the meet. Run for the last time in 1925, the final edition was won by Paavo Nurmi, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist from Finland. In 1926, the distance was shortened, and the Wanamaker Mile was born. It has often been run at 10 p.m., a carryover from the days beginning in the 1930s when legendary sports announcer Ted Husing would broadcast the race live on his 10 p.m. radio show.
Marking its 81st running last year, the Wanamaker Mile has been won by 44 different men, including such luminaries as Glenn Cunningham, Kip Keino, Tony Waldrop, Filbert Bayi, Steve Scott, Noureddine Morceli, Bernard Lagat, Marcus O'Sullivan, Ron Delany, and, of course, the Irish legend whose name is synonymous with the event: Eamonn Coghlan. Known as the "Chairman of the Boards" for his dominance on the old wooden Millrose track, the Irishman won the mile here an astonishing seven times, a feat surpassed only by Bernard Lagat, who won his eighth Wanamaker Mile in 2010.
Some of the most memorable moments in Millrose history include Ray Conger's 1929 upset win over Nurmi in the Wanamaker Mile; pole vaulter Cornelius Warmerdam becoming the first person to vault 15 feet (4.6 m) indoors, in 1942; John Thomas hitting the first 7-foot (2.1 m) high jump, in 1959; Mary Decker's thrilling run to a 1500-meter World Indoor Record to ear-splitting encouragement from the crowd, in 1980; John Uelses becoming the first person to pole vault the height of 16 feet; Carl Lewis in 1984 shattering the World Indoor Record with a jump of 28 feet (8.5 m), 10.25 inches, a mark that still stands; Eamonn Coghlan notching his then record seventh Wanamaker Mile in 1987; Bernard Lagat breaking Coghlan's record with his eighth Wanamaker Mile triumph in 2010, and Stacy Dragila setting a late-night pole vault world record in 2001.
For 70 of its first 96 years, the role of Millrose meet director was a father-son affair: Fred Schmertz took the helm in 1934, handing the reins to son Howard in 1975. In 2003, the title of Meet Director Emeritus was bestowed on the younger Schmertz.
In May 2011 Norbert Sanders, the President of the Millrose Games, announced that, starting January 2012, the games would be moved to the Armory in Washington Heights, at 168th Street, and that a new all-day Saturday schedule would replace the Friday evening format.
The games, operated by the New York Road Runners (which also operates the New York City Marathon), are also notable for their rigid anti-doping policies. In 2017, Millrose race director Ray Flynn told an ESPN reporter, "We have a mandate that we don't invite any athlete that has had any drug history in their past. We want to keep our meet free of any athlete that really has a violation."
The most prolific winner in event history is Loren Murchison, a sprinter who won 13 titles between 1919 and 1926. He is followed by pole vaulter Bob Richards (11), hurdler Greg Foster and 500-600-800m runner Mark Everett (10), and hurdler Harrison Dillard and miler Eamonn Coghlan (9). Coghlan's total includes seven Wanamaker Mile victories and two Masters Mile wins.
Four women share the honor of most Millrose wins at eight apiece: 400-meter runner Diane Dixon, whose eight victories include five straight from 1988-1992; middle-distance runner Jearl Miles-Clark; shot putter Connie Price-Smith; and high jumper Tisha Waller.
202 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose Games and Olympic champions.
|Athlete||Country||Event||Career notes||Millrose highlights||Inducted|
|Horace Ashenfelter||United States||2 Miles||Olympic gold medalist, Steeplechase (1952)||5-time winner||2001|
|Earl Bell||United States||Pole Vault||Olympic bronze medalist (1984)||6-time winner||2000|
|Joetta Clark||United States||800||4-time Olympian (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)||7-time winner; 23-time competitor||2003|
|Eamonn Coghlan||Ireland||Mile||World Championships 5000 m gold medalist (1983)||7-time winner of Wanamaker Mile||1999|
|Glenn Cunningham||United States||Mile||Olympic silver medalist, 1500m (1936)||6-time winner||2000|
|Willie Davenport||United States||Hurdles||2-time Olympic medalist, gold and bronze (1968, 1976)||5-time winner||2003|
|Harrison Dillard||United States||Hurdles||4-time Olympic gold medalist (1948, 1952)||8-time winner||1999|
|Diane Dixon||United States||400||2-time Olympic relay medalist, gold and silver (1984, 1988)||8-time winner||1999|
|Mark Everett||United States||500, 600, 800||2-time World Championships medalist||10-time winner||2003|
|Greg Foster||United States||Hurdles||4-time World Champion indoors and out (1984-1991)||10-time winner||2000|
|Johnny Gray||United States||800||American Record Holder, Olympic bronze medalist (1992)||5-time winner||2004|
|Stephanie Hightower||United States||Hurdles||1980 Olympian, World Record Holder||5-time winner||2001|
|Joni Huntley||United States||High Jump||Olympic bronze medalist (1984)||4-time winner||2004|
|Jackie Joyner-Kersee||United States||Long Jump, Hurdles||6-time Olympic medalist, including 3 gold (1988-1996)||5-time winner||2001|
|Carl Lewis||United States||Long Jump||9-time Olympic gold medalist, 100 m, 200m, relay, LJ (1984-1996)||4-time winner||2000|
|Marty Liquori||United States||Mile||Ranked #1 in World three times, 1968 Olympian||3-time Wanamaker Mile winner||2003|
|Martin McGrady||United States||600||World Record Holder (1970)||3-time winner||2005|
|Loren Murchison||United States||Dash, 300||2-time Olympic 4x100 relay gold medalist (1920, 1924)||13-time winner||2002|
|Renaldo Nehemiah||United States||Hurdles||Ranked #1 in the World 1978-1981||4-time winner||2002|
|Marcus O'Sullivan||Ireland||Mile||3-time World Indoor gold, 4-time Olympian (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996)||5-time Wanamaker Mile winner||2002|
|Billy Olson||United States||Pole Vault||11-time World Record Holder, 1988 Olympian||4-time winner||2004|
|Doug Padilla||United States||3000, 5000||2-time Olympian (1984, 1988)||6-time winner||2000|
|Don Paige||United States||1000||Ranked #1 in World, Sullivan Award winner (1980)||5-time winner||2001|
|Joie Ray||United States||1½ Mile||3-time Olympian, 1924 bronze medalist 3000||7-time winner||2004|
|Greg Rice||United States||2 Mile||World Record Holder, Sullivan Award winner (1940)||4-time winner||2005|
|Bob Richards||United States||Pole Vault||2-time Olympic gold medalist (1952, 1956)||11-time winner||1999|
|Fred Schmertz||United States||Meet Director, 1934-1974||2003|
|Howard Schmertz||United States||Meet Director, 1975-2002||2007|
|Mary Slaney||United States||1000, 1500, Mile||36 ARs, 17 WR, World Championships double gold (1983)||6-time winner||2002|
|Dwight Stones||United States||High Jump||2-time Olympic bronze medalist (1972, 1976)||3-time winner||2005|
|John Thomas||United States||High Jump||2-time Olympic medalist, silver and bronze (1960, 1964)||6-time winner||1999|
|Gwen Torrence||United States||Sprints||5-time Olympic medalist, including 3 gold (1992, 1996)||7-time winner||2003|
|Cheryl Toussaint||United States||440, 600, 800||Olympic 4x400 silver medalist (1972)||4-time winner||2005|
|Cornelius Warmerdam||United States||Pole Vault||World Record Holder, Sullivan Award winner (1942)||2-time winner||2001|
|Mal Whitfield||United States||600, 880||5-time Olympic medalist, including 3 gold (1948, 1952)||4-time winner||2002|
Over the course of its history, numerous world records have been set at the Millrose Games.
|1988||Mile walk||5:33.53 [WB]||Tim Lewis||United States|
|2018||300 m||35.45 [WB]||Shaunae Miller-Uibo||Bahamas|
|2018||4 × 800 m relay||8:05.89||Chrishuna Williams
|60 m||6.45||Maurice Greene||United States||2000|
|300 m||32.35||Rai Benjamin||United States||8 February 2020|||
|400 m||45.35||Bralon Taplin||Grenada||20 February 2016|||
|500 m||1:00.06||Brycen Spratling||United States||14 February 2015|||
|600 y||1:07.53||Mark Everett||United States||1992|
|600 m||1:15.61||Erik Sowinski||United States||16 February 2013|||
|800 m||1:43.98||Michael Saruni||Kenya||9 February 2019|||
|1000 m||2:17.63||Pierre-Ambroise Bosse||France||15 February 2014|||
|1500 m||3:36.1||Bernard Lagat||United States||2005|
|Mile||3:48.46||Yomif Kejelcha||Ethiopia||9 February 2019|||
|2000 m||4:54.74||Bernard Lagat||United States||15 February 2014|||
|3000 m||7:38.82||Ryan Hill||United States||20 February 2016|||
|Two miles||8:09.49||Bernard Lagat||United States||16 February 2013|||
|5000 m||13:07.15||Bernard Lagat||United States||11 February 2012|||
|60 m hurdles||7.43||Allen Johnson||United States||2004|
|High jump||2.34 m||Jimmy Howard||United States||1985|
|Pole vault||5.87 m||Jeff Hartwig||United States||2002|
|Long jump||8.79 m||Carl Lewis||United States||1984|
|Shot put||22.33 m||Ryan Crouser||United States||9 February 2019|||
|Weight throw||24.82 m||Lance Deal||United States||1993|
|Mile walk||5:33.53||Tim Lewis||United States||1988|
|4 × 200 m relay||1:27.01||Shore AC
Derrhyl Duncan Jr.
|United States||15 February 2014|
|4 × 400 m relay||3:11.53||Atlantic Coast Club||United States||1988|
|4 × 800 m relay||7:21.37||Penn State
|United States||16 February 2013|||
|Distance medley relay||9:42.79||NJ/NY TC
|United States||16 February 2013|||
|60 m||7.00||Gail Devers||United States||4 February 1994|
|300 m||35.45||Shaunae Miller-Uibo||Bahamas||3 February 2018|||
|400 m||50.89||Sanya Richards-Ross||United States||11 February 2012|||
|500 m||1:07.34||Courtney Okolo||United States||11 February 2017|||
|600 y||1:20.79||Lashinda Demus||United States||2008|
|600 m||1:23.59||Alysia Montaño||United States||16 February 2013|||
|800 m||1:58.29||Ajeé Wilson||United States||8 February 2020|||
|1:58.27 X||Ajee' Wilson||United States||11 February 2017|||
|1500 m||3:59.87+||Konstanze Klosterhalfen||8 February 2020|||
|Mile||4:16.85||Elinor Purrier||United States||8 February 2020|||
|3000 m||8:41.72||Sally Kipyego||Kenya||14 February 2015|||
|5000 m||14:57.18||Betsy Saina||United States||20 February 2016|||
|60 m hurdles||7.76||Gail Devers||United States||2004|
|High jump||1.97 m||Louise Ritter||United States||1989|
|Pole vault||4.91 m||Sandi Morris||United States||8 February 2020|||
|Long jump||7.00 m||Jackie Joyner-Kersee||United States||1992|
|Shot put||18.59 m||Connie Price-Smith||United States||1999|
|Weight throw||24.19 m||Amber Campbell||United States||2010|
|Mile walk||6:17.29||Rachel Seaman||Canada||15 February 2014|||
|4 × 200 m relay||1:36.34||Bullis
|United States||3 February 2018|
|4 × 400 m relay||3:40.51||Atoms Track Club||United States||1984|
|4 × 800 m relay||8:05.89||Chrishuna Williams
|United States||3 February 2018|||
|Distance medley relay||11:14.16||NJ/NY TC
|United States||16 February 2013|||