St. Ignatius to host Magnificent Miles

ITCCCA Illinois HS Track & Field 1 Comment

Magnificent Miles: a track festival and night of mile races at Chicago’s Saint Ignatius College Prep on Friday, June 5, 2015

For immediate release: For more information please contact

Ed Ernst, 773-407-5220,

Chicago, IL—Saint Ignatius College Prep is excited to inaugurate a new event in the post-season high school and collegiate distance runner track season—and a new event to kick off the elite summer youth track and professional calendar. It will be a night of one-mile races in a spectacular setting, under the lights of the newly renovated Mailliard Track and Fornelli Field and against the backdrop of a Chicago skyline just a mile away. Spectators will watch the races “gauntlet-style,” standing right on the track.

The event will be called “Magnificent Miles: A night of mile races in Chicago.”

“When they put up light towers around our track last summer, the idea popped into my head, just like in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’: a night of mile races in Chicago,” said Saint Ignatius boys track coach Ed Ernst, one of the Magnificent Miles race organizers.

High school races will be a central feature of the evening. Boys and girls will race an elite high school mile against top runners from the Midwest shortly after the state championships for Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa.

The high school athletes will also contest a unique event in the track season—a “team flight mile.” Three-runner teams will compete in three separate races, number three runners against number three runners, twos against twos, ones against ones; then the results will be scored cross-country style, lowest score wins. (Because of complications with the IHSA competitions calendar, high school runners should organize club teams to participate if their schools are still in session.)

In addition, high school athlete spectators can watch their coaches race a “coaches mile.”

“We’re hoping to give high school runners and teams one more chance to run together and support each other,” said Saint Ignatius assistant coach Nate McPherson, another race organizer. “We want this to be a celebration of our sport and the friendships that grow out of it.”

The meet organizers also hope to recruit Chicago-area-bred collegiate runners and runners from Chicago-area colleges for a “college mile.” Top young grammar-school runners will race a “youth mile.”

And finally there are efforts under way to put together a field of elite male professional and collegiate runners who would like to take a crack at running a four-minute mile.

Loyola University’s Sam Penzenstadler ran 3 minutes and 58.21 seconds at Notre Dame’s indoor Meyo Mile in 2014, a Chicago runner breaking the barrier in the Chicago area. But it is a research project to identify the last four-minute mile actually run in the city of Chicago. That research starts with Loyola’s Tom O’Hara, also a Saint Ignatius alumnus, and his world record indoor mile of 3:56.4 at the Chicago Stadium on March 6, 1964.

The Magnificent Miles track meet has an information web site, which will also be a registration site for participants:

To get more information, contact the event organizers, Saint Ignatius coaches Nathan McPherson ( and Ed Ernst (

Comments 1

  1. What about a masters race? Just look at the rockford road mile and they get over 100 racers for that section.
    I’m from davenport but might come if the right race

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